With a worldwide gross of around $1.6 billion, it was inevitable that last year’s live-action The Lion King remake would be getting some kind of follow-up. Earlier today, Disney announced plans to continue its record-breaking success with a new entry in its uncanny valley lion film. Conflicting reports are saying it will be a prequel or a sequel, but one thing is clear: we haven’t seen the last of Mufasa yet!
What we do know is that director Barry Jenkins will be helming whatever this project ends up being. Known for his work on Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk, the man has a lot of critical acclaim behind his work (not to mention an Oscar win). Jeff Nathanson will be returning from the remake to pen the script, though it’s not clear if director Jon Favreau will return to executive produce or not.
In a statement, Jenkins said, “Helping my sister raise two young boys during the ’90s, I grew up with these characters. 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.”
I don’t think a prequel or sequel to The Lion King is a bad idea, but I do have to lament how Disney is seemingly turning its back on traditional animation. I would kill to see another film like The Princess and the Frog since hand-drawn art looks stunning in HD. I suppose it doesn’t bring in the big bucks, though, and that’s ultimately what Disney is after.