After his 2016 film Moonlight was nominated for eight Academy Awards, Barry Jenkins became a household name throughout the world. Jenkins was nominated for three Academy Awards, including one for Best Adapted Screenplay.
After releasing the 2018 romance/drama film If Beale Street Could Talk, the director earned even more praise. The film was nominated for three Academy Awards, with one of them being won. Barry Jenkins’ only other big production, aside from Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk, is a TV series called The Underground Railroad. However, based on his filmography, it’s evident that he’s an indie filmmaker that excels at telling a specific style of story.
As a result, many people were taken aback when Jenkins was confirmed as the director of the untitled Lion King prequel. The Moonlight filmmaker appears to be out of his element for this, as the prequel will be a huge studio film, unlike any of his previous work.
Jenkins, on the other hand, didn’t take any of these factors into account when deciding to direct it, and the prequel’s fantastic writing was what won him over. In a virtual conversation with Chloe Zhao for Variety, he discussed how he came to take on the directing role.
I read the script and turned to Lulu [Wang] at 40 pages in and exclaimed, “Holy [expletive], this is good.” And as I read on, the part of my brain that said, “Oh, a filmmaker like you doesn’t produce a film like this” faded away. Cinematographer James Laxton, Jenkins’ friend and lifelong partner, also helped persuade him to film the untitled prequel for Walt Disney Studios.
Prequel to The Lion King that has yet to be named
In 2019, Disney’s renowned 1994 animated musical The Lion King received a photo-realistic remake. Jon Favreau directed and produced the film, which made over $1.6 billion worldwide. Its no surprise that a prequel is in the works, given the film’s enormous success. Mufasa, Simba’s father, will be the focus of the future film, according to the company. Mufasa’s and his brother Scar’s casts have also been revealed.
Mufasa will be dubbed by Aaron Pierre, who previously played Caesar in Jenkins’ The Underground Railroad, while Scar will be performed by Kelvin Harrison Jr., who is most known for his roles in Luce (2019), Monsters and Men (2018), and It Comes at Night (2017). (2017).
The untitled Lion King prequel will center on Mufasa and his sibling Scar’s early years. The prequel will be written by Jeff Nathanson, who also penned the screenplay for the 2019 adaptation. Jenkins, who will oversee the untitled Lion King prequel, has voiced his enthusiasm for the project.
It’s a dream come true for me to be able to work with Disney on expanding this great story of friendship, love, and heritage while also continuing my work documenting the lives and souls of people in the African diaspora. The start date for the manufacturing has yet to be determined. The rest of the cast is yet to be revealed.