Barry Jenkins Set to a Direct a Sequel to The Lion King

The Disney live-action remake train is chugging along. While we don't have the exact numbers on Mulan, we can assume that it didn't do too terribly since Disney is still moving ahead with their live-action movies. There's also the fact that three of those remakes have cracked a billion dollars, so while there are plenty of people who jump on social media to lament "who asked for this," the question no longer matters because plenty of people decided the remakes are things that they wanted. This writer was personally very excited about The Lion King remake and actually burst into tears the first time I saw footage at D23 a few years ago. The final product did not elicit that kind of emotion from this writer, but the box office of $1.6 billion does speak for itself. So no one should be that surprised that, according to Deadline, Disney has greenlit a sequel to The Lion King using the same realistic animation style, and they have brought in Barry Jenkins to direct.

Barry Jenkins Set to a Direct a Sequel to The Lion King
Barry Jenkins attends the Jury Cinefondation during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 26, 2017, in Cannes, France. Editorial credit: Denis Makarenko /

This might not be something you are personally excited about, but it is awesome to see someone like Jenkins, who has worked on Oscar-winning and nominated movies getting the chance to earn some more of that sweet, sweet Disney money. The Lion King sequel is bringing back Jeff Nathanson, who worked on the last live-action movie. The details are scarce as far as plot goes, but the sources say that "the story will further explore the mythology of the characters, including Mufasa's origin story. Moving the story forward while looking back conjures memories of The Godfather: Part II, set on the African plain with a continuation of the tradition of music that was a key part of the 1994 animated classic, the 2019 film, and the blockbuster Broadway stage transfer." Which is certainly an interesting take for a The Lion King sequel if we ever heard one.

At the moment, there isn't any start date for this movie, and while they already have the technology ready from the previous film, animated movies still take a ton of time to make. So the sequel to The Lion King is likely four years off at the minimum, and that's being generous and assuming that Disney fast tracks the production. What is the blockbuster landscape going to even look like when this movie comes out? We'll have to see.

About Kaitlyn Booth

Kaitlyn is the Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. She loves movies, television, and comics. She's a member of the UFCA and the GALECA. Feminist. Writer. Nerd. Follow her on twitter @katiesmovies and @safaiagem on instagram. She's also a co-host at The Nerd Dome Podcast. Listen to it at

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