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Barry Jenkins to Direct ‘The Lion King’ Sequel for Disney Studios

Barry Jenkins to Direct ‘The Lion King’ Sequel for Disney Studios

Photo Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

The Barry Jenkins-directed sequel will further explore the characters’ origin stories.

On Tuesday, Deadline reported that Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk director Barry Jenkins will be teaming up with Walt Disney Studios to produce a Lion King sequel. The project will be Jenkins’ second project with the company, succeeding his forthcoming biopic of the legendary choreographer lAlvin Ailey for Searchlight Pictures.

“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 the lives and souls of folk within the African diaspora is a dream come true.”

Jeff Nathanson, who wrote last year’s remake of the movie, will write the script this time around. According to Deadline, he’s already completed an initial draft of the script. The film will feature the photo-realistic technology used in the 2019 remake as well as the 2016 remake of The Jungle Book.

Barry Jenkins has also completed a number of series for Amazon: a limited adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s award-winning novel The Underground Railroad, Flint Strong, a drama based on Clarissa “T-Rex” Shields, and an adaption of the Netflix documentary Virunga, about the battle to preserve the mountain gorilla population of the Congo.

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There’s no release date for the new Lion King sequel yet, nor for the beginning of production, but Jenkins’ partners Adele Romanski and Mark Ceryak will reportedly join the cast and crew as producers.

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