The Circle of Life continues for The Lion King as the franchise heads into a new phase: a sequel. Disney is looking to make a live-action follow up to the 2019 blockbuster and has tapped Barry Jenkins to helm the project.

Via Deadline

Via Deadline

What’s Happening:

  • Deadline is reporting that Disney has tapped Barry Jenkins to direct a sequel to the 2019 feature, The Lion King.
  • The Oscar-winner (Adapted Screenplay) and director of Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk, will head to the Pride Lands to further explore the stories of the beloved Lion King characters.
  • Deadline says the logline is being kept secret at this time, but sources hinted that the sequel will dive into the mythology of the characters including looking at Mufasa’s origin story.
  • This installment will continue to use the photo-realistic technology seen in the original and as well as 2016’s The Jungle Book.
  • A first draft of the script has been completed by Jeff Nathanson, who also penned the 2019 film. His other credits include:
    • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
    • Catch Me If You Can
    • Rush Hour 2
    • Rush Hour 3
  • At this time, Disney has not set the film on their release calendar nor announced any potential cast members.
  • As for Jenkins, The Lion King sequel will mark his second project at Disney. He’s attached to helm the biopic of choreographer Alvin Ailey for Searchlight.
  • Adele Romanski and Mark Ceryak of Jenkins’ production company PASTEL are expected to join the film as producers.

What They’re Saying:

  • Director Barry Jenkins: “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.”

The Lion King (2019) Cast:

  • Chiwetel Ejiofor
  • Donald Glover
  • Alfre Woodard
  • Beyoncé Knowles-Carter
  • James Earl Jones
  • John Oliver
  • Keegan-Michael Key
  • Eric Andre
  • Seth Rogen
  • Billy Eichner
  • Amy Sedaris
  • Chance the Rapper