3:26 pm EDT, September 29, 2020

‘Lion King’ sequel in the works with Oscar winner Barry Jenkins set to helm

Disney is working on a Lion King sequel, and Oscar winner Barry Jenkins is officially on board to direct.

According to Deadline, Academy Award winning director Barry Jenkins (If Beale Street Could Talk, Moonlight) has officially signed on to direct Disney’s forthcoming sequel to 2019’s CGI adaptation of The Lion King.

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Joining Jenkins behind the scenes is Jeff Nathanson, who wrote the script for the 2019 CGI adaptation, and will once again return to write the sequel.

Disney fans will be well aware of the fact that the 1994 animated classic also went on to spawn a sequel, which focused on a star-crossed lovers storyline between Simba and Nala’s daughter, Kiara, and Kovu— a young lion from a banished pride that was once loyal to Scar.

Though it likely wouldn’t come as much of a shock to fans if the studio were to adapt the animated sequel for their proposed follow up to 2019’s Lion King, it doesn’t seem like that’s Disney’s plan.

Instead, the Jenkins helmed sequel is reportedly set to “further explore the mythology of the characters, including Mufasa’s origin story.”

In a statement announcing his involvement with the sequel, the If Beale Street Could Talk vet spoke of his history with the classic Disney characters we’ve come to know and love.

“Helping my sisters raise two young boys during the 90s, I grew up with these characters,” said Barry Jenkins. “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.”

Currently, there’s no word with regards to whether any of The Lion King’s 2019 cast will return to lend their voices for the sequel.

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