NEWS FLASH-Barry Jenkins Directing The Lion King Prequel/Sequel
Oscar-winner Barry Jenkins, director of Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk, is directing an upcoming prequel/sequel to the recent, CGI Lion King remake.
The pre-sequel (real word), as described by Deadline, is akin to The Godfather Part 2, in that it will jump back and forth between the two stories of a young Mufasa and the newly crowned king, Simba.
Jeff Nathanson, who wrote the 2019 The Lion King, will also write for this film, having recently submitted a first draft.
The film has been confirmed to be using the impressive, but soulless, photo-real renders of the animals, that detracted from the emotional weight of the remake.
“Having the opportunity to work with Disney on expanding this magnificent tale of friendship, love and legacy while furthering my work chronicling the lives and souls of folk within the African diaspora is a dream come true” Jenkins wrote in a statement.
2019’s The Lion King grossed over $1.6 billion worldwide as Disney weaponised nostalgia to draw fans in to watch Mufasa die again. Now in Ultra High-Definition!
The first CGI Lion King film was made for a massive $260 million, most of which went into the ground breaking technology.
Using that as an estimate, this film’s budget would be the biggest Jenkins has worked with, with his Oscar-winner Moonlight costing a mere $4 million.
If he can produce a beautiful, moving film like Moonlight for $4 mill, who knows what breathtaking imagery he could produce with a budget nearly 50x that.
Follow-ups to the new Disney live-action films seemed inevitable as Disney continuously made bank with most of them (*cough* Mulan *cough*).
It’s still early days, but some of the cast may return, in particular Donald Glover who voiced Simba, and Beyonce as Nala
However, someone like the legendary James Earl Jones may not reprise his role, as his aged voice may not suit a younger version of Mufasa.
While not appearing to be a straight adaptation of the direct-to-video sequel to the original The Lion King, The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride, Jenkins could take inspiration from it for the Simba storyline.
Lulu Wang, Barry Jenkins partner and fellow director, welcomed the announcement with a video of her doing what most people do with a dog.