A sequel to 2019’s live-action The Lion King has been set at Disney, with Barry Jenkins set to direct.

Jeff Nathanson, the writer of the first film, as already completed the first draft. No production date or release date is known, but according to the exclusive Deadline report, it is a top priority for Disney as the last film grossed $1.6 billion worldwide.

The outlet also states that while major plot details are under wraps, there is some understanding of what it would look like. “[T]he 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.”

This keeps Jenkins at Disney, where he has an Alvin Ailey biopic in development. His next project is the Amazon limited series, The Underground Railroad, which should be released within the next year. He also wrote the script for the Ryan Destiny-starrer Flint Strong and is working on an adaptation of the documentary Virunga at Netflix.

“Helping my sister raise two young boys during the ’90s, I grew up with these characters,” Jenkins said in a statement to Deadline. “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.”

No word on if the original cast, including Donald Glover, Alfre Woodard, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, James Earl Jones and more, will return.


Photo: Disney, Getty Images