We now have some information about Disney’s computer-generated “live-action” sequel to The Lion King, Mufasa.
On Friday, during Walt Disney Studios’ panel at D23 Expo, director Barry Jenkins announced that the film would be called Mufasa: The Lion King. It is anticipated to premiere in theaters in 2024.
The film will reportedly be told in two different time frames, as Timon, Pumbaa, Rafiki tell the origin story of Mufasa to a new cub in present day. In addition, we see Mufasa’s rise to royalty via flashbacks. Attendees were also given a brief look at the footage during the panel, and while there does not appear to be an online reveal in the near future, Jamie Jirak of ComicBook.com offered a detailed description of what was shown.
Mufasa: The Lion King. 2024. pic.twitter.com/IkPMk6IDGR
— Walt Disney Studios (@DisneyStudios) September 9, 2022
With Jeff Nathanson writing the script, Andy Serkis will return to direct The Lion King: Mufasa will be voiced by Aaron Pierre in the new film, with Scar being voiced by Kelvin Harrison Jr.
“I grew up with this characters, they mean so much to me,” Jenkins said during an interview last month. “I think the work that Jeff Nathanson, the writer, did and going back into really helping children and anyone who ever loved this property understand what it takes. Kings aren’t just born, they aren’t just made. They have to become who they are through a series of events that a lot of people can relate to. So, in that standpoint, it fits very well with everything else I’ve done. So I feel no pressure, I just want to do a good job.”
“I read the script and about 40 pages in I turned to Lulu [Wang] and I said, ‘Holy s**t, this is good.’ And as I kept reading, I got further away from the side of my brain that said, ‘Oh, a filmmaker like you doesn’t make a film like this,’ and allowed myself to get to the place where these characters, this story, is amazing. What really pushed me across the line was James, my DP, said, ‘You know what? There’s something really interesting in this mode of filmmaking that we haven’t done and that not many people have done.’ That was when I went back to the powers that be and said, ‘I would love to do this, but I’ve got to be able to do what I do.'”When this one came, super top secret.”
“I read the script and, 40 pages in, I said to Lulu [Wang], ‘Holy s**t, this is fantastic.’ And as I continued reading, I was drawn further away from my side of mind that said, ‘Oh, a director like you would never make a film like this,’ and allowed myself to get to the point where these characters, this narrative were incredible.”
My film DP, James, pointed out that we hadn’t experimented with this type of film making before which really piqued my interest. I went back to the people in charge and expressed how badly I wanted to explore this option–on the condition that I be allowed free creative reign.
Mufasa: The Lion King will premiere in theaters in 2024, as previously announced.
Timothy is a senior writer based in Atlanta, specializing in celebrity-related news. She is always ready to cover trending TV stories with an unbiased perspective and a pinch of gossip.