Disney just confirmed that they are working on a prequel film for TheLion King titled Mufasa: The Lion King. The announcement was made at Disney’s fan expo D23 yesterday. The prequel will focus on Mufasa’s early years and show his ascension to royalty before he became Simba’s father. Barry Jenkins, known for directing films like Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk, will reportedly helm the project. Mufasa: The Lion King will be a live-action CGI prequel to the original Lion King.
The makers unveiled a short teaser at D23 where Mufasa was shown as being orphaned after a deadly flood. Talking about the film in an interview, director Barry Jenkins said, “Mufasa was an orphan who had to navigate the world alone himself. And, in telling the story, we get to experience the real journey of how Mufasa found his place in the circle of life.”
The story also featured Rafiki’s voice-over narrating the story before he gets interrupted by Billy Eichner’s Timon, who breaks the fourth wall by saying, “Wait wait wait, am I not in this story? I don’t feel seen.“
The original Lion King came out in 1994 and became a cultural phenomenon, spawning sequels, TV shows, stage play adaptations, and video games. The film was remade into live-action using CGI in 2019. Aaron Pierre, known for The Underground Railroad, will reportedly voice Mufasa in the film. Mufasa: The Lion King is currently scheduled to release in 2024.