Though the critics weren’t so keen on the film, Jon Favreau’s The Lion King was still a technical marvel, and it made a lot of bank in the box office. Disney is now set on delivering a sequel, and news has it that they’ve found someone to take on the helm.
Deadline reports that Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) is going to be directing Disney’s follow-up to the CG-action Lion King. We don’t have any specifics on the story, but it is mentioned that it will be more of a prequel/sequel which will tell a story that takes place after the events of the first movie and another story explaining the origins of Mufasa.
While the direct-to-video sequel Simba’s Pride wasn’t any better than the original, I thought that there were some themes in that film that were worth exploring, especially the idea that it was based on another Shakespeare play. If the first Lion King was based on Hamlet, then the sequel was based on Romeo & Juliet. Not to mention the songs were still fantastic:
Personally, I was not a huge fan of Favreau’s adaptation. While it kept a lot of the original story beats, the realistic animation didn’t help make characters more expressive or set pieces more colourful. At best, characters were just running and singing at the same time. They even butchered Scar’s Be Prepared number for whatever they were going for with Chiwetel Ejiofor.
No release date has been set for the Lion King sequel, but I imagine it could come out sometime in 2023.