Barry Jenkins’ Mufasa: The Lion King Unveiled At D23

Mufasa: The Lion King logo

by Ben Travis |
Published on

For a while now, we’ve known that Barry Jenkins – the Oscar-winning director of Moonlight, If Beale Street Could Talk, and The Underground Railroad – was working on a Lion King movie at Disney. And while things have been a little quiet on that front for a while, the director popped up at Disney’s D23 Expo to unveil a little more of what he’s been working on.

Most notably, it was revealed that Jenkins’ film is titled Mufasa: The Lion King. It’s a prequel origin story for the titular lion – and it’s coming to cinemas in 2024. “This is a story about how Mufasa rose to royalty. He was born an orphaned cub, and in this film we get to explore his journey into the circle of life,” explained Jenkins on stage. And while it might seem like a left-turn for the filmmaker, there is something personal in here for him. “Mufasa is who he is because of the people he has around him, and I saw that in myself,” he said. As with Jon Favreau’s 2019 remake, this one will be animated in a photorealistic style – with footage airing in the room that showed a similar look and feel to Favreau’s film.

If Jenkins can pull off something even a fraction as special as his other work, we could be in for an unlikely Disney classic. That’s the circle of life.

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