The Lion King remake was released in 2019 to a lot of fanfare from Disney and even though the movie failed to connect with audiences the same way the 1994 original did, it was still a massive success earning $1.663 billion at the box office.
With such a huge return, it’s no shock that Disney wants to grow the franchise. While the original movies gained sequels, this new version of the Hamlet-inspired classic will instead be receiving a prequel.
Announced at the Disney & Pixar panel at d23, Mufasa: The Lion King will have Timon, Pumba and Rafiki tell the story of how Mufasa rose to become the iconic king we see in the original films.
The Barry Jenkins-directed prequel (which Disney describes as live-action) will continue with the photorealistic animation technology that director Jon Favreau used in the blockbuster 2019 update of the beloved franchise. Jeff Nathanson, who scripted the last instalment, is back in the fold. The film will be produced by Adele Romanski and Mark Ceryak.
Kelvin Harrison Jr. will take on the role of Mufasa, taking over the role from James Earl Jones. Aaron Pierre will be voicing Taka, aka Scar, before he became the villain we know him to be. Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen will also be returning to voice Timon and Pumba. Additional casting is currently underway.
Mufasa: The Lion King is set for a theatrical release in 2024.