Well, we did not see this one coming. Barry Jenkins, the gifted arthouse filmmaker whose debut film, Moonlight, won Best Picture, is going big with his next project. How big? He’ll be directing the sequel to Disney’s ginormously successful CG-animated remake of The Lion King.
‘Helping my sister raise two young boys during the ’90s, I grew up with these characters,’ says Jenkins of his affinity with the 1994 movie. ‘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.’
The Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk director takes over from Jon Favreau, whose near shot-for-shot redo of the beloved animation made a colossal $1.5 billion worldwide.
Rumours are that this one will delve back into Mufasa’a origins, maybe getting to the bottom of his sibling rivalry with the hissable Scar and taking a leaf out of The Godfather II’s playbook for cutting back and forward between past and present.
It will not be a shot-for-shot remake of The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride, nor, to the heartbreak of its many devoted fans, The Lion King 1½.
Expect all the old voice cast back, including Donald Glover, Beyoncé, Seth Rogen and (maybe) Chiwetel Ejiofor, voice of Scar. Boo, hiss, roar, etc.