Barry Jenkins, the man behind Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk, will helm the next Lion King adaptation for Disney.
According to Variety, the film will be a continuation of the 2019 Lion King remake, not the original 1994 animated version.
It’s worth nothing that “continuation” here doesn’t necessarily mean a direct sequel in its traditional sense. So think of it more as a follow-up, I reckon.
The animated version, meanwhile, spawned two sequel films, The Lion King 1 1/2 and The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride.
“Helping my sister raise two young boys during the ’90s, I grew up with these characters,” Jenkins said. “Having the opportunity to work with Disney on expanding this magnificent tale of friendship, love, and legacy while furthering my work chronicling lives and souls within the African diaspora is a dream come true.”
Director Lulu Wang, Jenkins’ partner, shared this little video to celebrate the news.
Watch for a SURPRISE.
— Lulu Wang (@thumbelulu) September 29, 2020
I’ve watched this 11-second clip far too many times this morning, but I swear it’s given me the energy to make it the end of the week.
Jenkins himself also re-tweeted a fan-made clip of what people think his Lion King will look like.
It sums up my feelings quite nicely.
As Jenkins put it, his Lion King is “not a sequel. Not a remake. All love…”
Disney has yet to officially announce a scheduled release date for the film, but we’ll keep you updated.
In the meantime, you can watch The Lion King – both the animated version and the remake – on Disney+ now.
The remake, directed by Jon Favreau, starred Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé as Nala, Billy Eichner as Timon, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, and James Earl Jones as Mufasa.
As for what the Mickey’s got lined up next year, expect the live-action Cruella.
This flick is an origin story about the infamous 101 Dalmatians villain, starring Emma Stone (La La Land) as Cruella de Vil.
The film also stars Emma Thompson (take your pick), Paul Walter Hauser (Da 5 Bloods), and Joel Fry (Love Wedding Repeat).
Last year, during Disney’s annual D23 convention, fans got their first look at Stone in Cruella gear.
Here’s your first look at Emma Stone as Cruella de Vil in Disney’s Cruella. The film, also starring Emma Thompson, Paul Walter Hauser, and Joel Fry, comes to theaters May 28, 2021. #D23Expo pic.twitter.com/fvRntdIVar
— Disney (@Disney) August 24, 2019
Cruella is slated for release May 27, 2021.