Oscar winner Moonlight Barry Jenkins is expected to lead the follow-up to 2019’s hit remake The Lion King.
The writer-director, who won the Oscar for Best Suited Screenplay for famous gay drama starring Tarell Alvin McCraney, confirmed the news on Twitter after the deadline originally indicated.
“Helping my sister raise two young boys in the ’90s, I grew up with these characters,” Jenkins said in a subsequent release. “To have the opportunity to work with Disney to expand this wonderful story of friendship, love and legacy while continuing my work in telling the lives and souls of people in the African diaspora is a dream come true. “
Details are scarce, but rumor has it that the film delves into the mythology of the characters, including Mufasa’s origin story, continuing the story first brought to screen in the 1994 animated adventure. The film received its own direct-to-video sequel to The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride in 1998.
Last year’s CG remake went on to become a worldwide box office success earning over $ 1.6 billion. Earlier this year, Beyoncé, who voiced Nala, worked with Disney to release Black is King, a visual album inspired by the film’s story. Screenwriter Jeff Nathanson, who wrote the script for the remake, has reportedly completed a draft for follow-up.
Jenkins, who was also the originator of James Baldwin’s 2018 adaptation, If Beale Street Could Talk, recently wrapped up production on a small screen of Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Underground Railroad for Amazon. Jenkins is also set to direct a biopic of choreographer Alvin Ailey and resurrect Steven Soderbergh’s period drama The Knick with star Andre Holland.
The Lion King 2 will join a roster of upcoming Disney reinventions, including The Little Mermaid with Halle Bailey, Cruella with Emma Stone, and Peter Pan with Yara Shahidi.