The Walt Disney Studios has set Oscar winner Barry Jenkins to direct the studio’s follow-up to the 2019 blockbuster The Lion King. Jeff Nathanson, who scripted the last installment, is back in the fold and has completed an initial draft of script. Jenkins won the Oscar for scripting the Best Picture winner Moonlight and was nominated for adapting If Beale Street Could Talk (he directed both).
The film will continue with the photo-realistic technology that director Jon Favreau used in the 2019 film and 2016’s The Jungle Book. There is no release date set for The Lion King follow-up or for the production start, but it is understandably a top priority for Sean Bailey’s division after the last film grossed $1.6 billion worldwide.
They are keeping the logline under wraps, but I’m told that the story will further explore the mythology of the characters, including Mufasa’s origin story. Moving the story forward while looking back conjures memories of The Godfather: Part II, set on the African plain with a continuation of the tradition of music that was a key part of the 1994 animated classic, the 2019 film and the blockbuster Broadway stage transfer.
This is completely unnecessary, but hey, get paid, Barry Jenkins!