The follow-up film "will further explore the mythology of the characters, including Mufasa’s origin story"

By Nicholas Rice
September 29, 2020 01:25 PM
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Credit: Disney

Get ready to take a trip back to the Pride Lands!

Disney has a follow-up to 2019's blockbuster The Lion King in the works, according to Deadline.

Set to be directed by Barry Jenkins, the Oscar-winning filmmaker behind Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk, the outlet notes that the film will continue to use the enhanced photo-realistic technology that director Jon Favreau previously used in the remake.

Though plot lines are being kept tightly under wraps, Deadline reports that the follow-up film ″will further explore the mythology of the characters, including Mufasa’s origin story."

The 2019 family film, which was a remake of the 1994 animated classic, featured a star-studded cast including Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala, Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen and as Timon and Pumbaa and James Earl Jones as Mufasa, who returned to reprise his role from the cartoon feature.

Disney has yet to announce who will take part in the follow-up and no release date for the next film has been set.

In a statement to Deadline, Jenkins, 40, said, ″Helping my sister raise two young boys during the 90s, I grew up with these characters.″

He added, ″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."

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Jenkins' partner, director Lulu Wang, celebrated the news on Twitter with an adorable video of her holding up her dog in slow motion to the film’s iconic opening music.

The director reacted to the news in his own tweet as well, where he shared the report from Deadline and wrote, "This. Yes, THIS 👇🏾."

The remake was the second highest-grossing film of the 2019; it also received an 88 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

In 1998, Disney released an animated direct-to-video sequel centered on Simba and Nala's daughter, Kiara, who falls in love with a male lion from a banished pride named Kovu, who has ties to Simba's evil uncle, Scar.

Then, ten years after the release of the original film in 2004, Disney released The Lion King 1½, another direct-to-video release that serves as an origin story for Timon and Pumbaa, set before, during and after the events of the original The Lion King.