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    Wednesday, September 30, 2020

    The Lion King 2 Official With Moonlight Director Barry Jenkins

    The Walt Disney Studios has set Oscar winner Barry Jenkins to direct the studio’s follow-up to the 2019 blockbuster The Lion King. Jeff Nathanson, who scripted the last installment, is back in the fold and has completed an initial draft of script. Jenkins won the Oscar for scripting the Best Picture winner Moonlight and was nominated for adapting If Beale Street Could Talk (he directed both).

    The film will continue with the photo-realistic technology that director Jon Favreau used in the 2019 film and 2016’s The Jungle Book. There is no release date set for The Lion King follow-up or for the production start, but it is understandably a top priority for Sean Bailey’s division after the last film grossed $1.6 billion worldwide.

    The film is rumoured to delve deeper into the mythology of the characters including Mufasa’s origin story, continuing the story first brought to the screen in the 1994 animated adventure. The film received its own straight-to-video sequel The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride in 1998.

    Earlier this year, Beyoncé, who voiced Nala, worked with Disney to release Black is King, a visual album inspired by the story of the film. Screenwriter Jeff Nathanson, who penned the remake’s script, has reportedly finished a draft for the follow-up.

    Jenkins, who was also behind 2018’s James Baldwin adaptation If Beale Street Could Talk, recently completed production on a small-screen take on Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer prize-winning novel The Underground Railroad for Amazon. Jenkins is also set to direct a biopic of the choreographer Alvin Ailey and resurrect Steven Soderbergh’s period drama The Knick with star Andre Holland

    The Lion King 2 will join a list of forthcoming Disney reinventions including The Little Mermaid with Halle Bailey, Cruella with Emma Stone and Peter Pan with Yara Shahidi.

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