Moonlight’s Barry Jenkins to Direct “The Lion King” Sequel

Zazu (John Oliver) and Young Simba (JD McCrary) in "The Lion King." Photo by Walt Disney/Kobal/Shutterstock (10341456d)

Disney gave us one of their biggest box office hits in recent years with the live-action remake of The Lion King, and it was just a matter of time before they announced its sequel. That moment is finally here, and not only that, but they also announced that Oscar-winning filmmaker Barry Jenkins will be in charge of bringing this project to life.

Jenkins’ previous movies include the Oscar-winning drama Moonlight and the adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel If Beale Street Could Talk.

Jenkins said he’s excited about the prospect of developing a project in The Lion King universe because he grew up with these characters in the ‘90s. “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,” he said in a statement.

Deadline described The Lion King sequel as a The Godfather: Part II, only set on the African plain. It’s expected to further explore the mythology of the beloved characters from the first film directed by Jon Favreau, which grossed over $1.6 billion worldwide and went on to become the highest-grossing animated film of all time.