Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Barry Jenkins Tapped to Direct ‘Lion King’ Sequel for Disney

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Barry Jenkins / Getty

“Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins has been tapped to direct a sequel to Disney’s live-action version of “The Lion King.”

Jon Favreau directed the 2019 movie, which featured an all-star voice cast of Beyonce, Seth Rogen, Donald Glover and James Earl Jones reprised his role as Mufasa from the original 1994 animated film. No word on if the same cast will return for the sequel, which will focus on Mufasa’s origin story.

According to Deadline, Jeff Nathanson, wrote the screenplay for the 2019 movie, will return to write the follow-up. 

READ MORE: Beyonce’s ‘Making the Gift’ Special About ‘Lion King’ Soundtrack to air Monday Night on ABC [VIDEO]

“Helping my sister raise two young boys during the ’90s, I grew up with these characters,” Jenkins said in a statement.“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 2019 “Lion King” film grossed $1.6 billion at the worldwide box office and earned a Golden Globe and Oscar nomination. 

Beyoncé released the visual album “Black Is King,” overthe summer, which reimagines the lessons of “The Lion King” for today’s Black youth. 

“Black Is King’ is a celebratory memoir for the world on the Black experience,” Disney and Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment said in announcing the project. “The film is a story for the ages that informs and rebuilds the present. A reunion of cultures and shared generational beliefs. A story of how the people left most broken have an extraordinary gift and a purposeful future.”

The film was in production for one year with a cast and crew that represent diversity and connectivity.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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