Mufasa: The Lion King announced in D23

Mufasa: The Lion King has just been announced by Disney.

A prequel to the 2019 live-action adaptation of The Lion King, the upcoming film will be directed by Barry Jenkins and tells the story of how Simba’s father, Mufasa, rose from humble beginnings to become the ruler of all the Lands of Pride.

“I had to make this movie,” Jenkins said. “Because when I was 14 I was raising two nephews and there was a VHS tape that we watched about 95 times in the span of two days. I was thinking about Mufasa and how he becomes great… I’m not a king, I’m not. a king… Mufasa is great because of the family and friends he has with him.”

Jenkins is perhaps best known for writing and directing the 2016 Oscar-winning film Moonlight, starring Trevante Rhodes, Janelle Monáe and Mahershala Ali. He most recently directed If Beale Street Could Talk, the 2018 romantic drama starring KiKi Layne, Stephan James and Regina King.

Along with the announcement, a brand new trailer was shown at Disney’s D23 Expo, giving us a glimpse of what to expect from the Lion King prequel.

And it features the return of some fan favorites.

The trailer starts at Pride Rock with a voiceover from Rafiki and a tune plucked from the famous Lion King soundtrack. Flying through the Pride Lands, we see baby Mufasa caught in a flood and washed away… so it looks like this orphaned cub will be forced to navigate this harsh world alone.

Unfortunately, it looks like he’s going to do it without the help of our favorite merch and mushrooms.

“I don’t feel seen,” says Timon, who seems pretty mad he’s not in the movie.

Mufasa: The Lion King will debut sometime in 2024.

Want to find out what else was announced at Disney’s D23? Check out the new trailer for Hocus Pocus 2 as well as Pixar’s new original TV show, Win or Lose. And you can find everything else in our complete roundup of the Disney and Pixar Studio Showcase.

Ryan Leston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow it I tweet.

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