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Barry Jenkins Is Making A Prequel To “The Lion King”

Well, this is unusual news. When you think about what an Academy Award winning filmmaker might be planning for his next feature, you don’t immediately jump to Disney prequels. Well, that’s not the case if you’re Barry Jenkins, it seems. Jenkins has signed on to develop and direct a prequel to The Lion King, which it’s safe to say is surprising news. At the same time, this kind of unusual hard right turn from what you might expect out of the man is part of what makes it so interesting. After all, Jenkins must have an interesting take on the material, right? Read on for more…

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jenkins is signing up to direct a prequel of The Lion King for Disney, taking over for Jon Favreau. Jeff Nathanson has returned to write a first draft for the film. Disney obviously wants to make this a franchise, considering how much money the first movie made. As for Jenkins, it must represent an interesting creative opportunity, to say the least. Whether this is the project you’d hope for him or not, having this man in the world of blockbuster filmmaking presents some intriguing possibilities.

Here’s a bit from the story at THR:

More Lion King is on the way, courtesy of director Barry Jenkins. The Oscar-winning Moonlight filmmaker will helm a prequel to Disney’s 2019 hit. Lion King scribe Jeff Nathanson has penned a draft of the prequel.

Jon Favreau directed the first installment, a remake of the 1994 animated classic. It used innovative techniques to create photorealistic animals and African landscapes and voice starred Donald Glover as Simba and Beyoncé as Nala. It became a massive hit, earning $1.65 billion globally for Disney.

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

Jenkins earned a screenwriting Oscar for 2017 best picture winner Moonlight, which he directed, and was also nominated for his screenplay for his directorial follow-up, 2018’s If Beale Street Could Talk. He recently wrapped filming on the Amazon limited series The Underground Railroad.

Nathanson’s credits also include Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017) and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) for Disney.

Stay tuned for more!

(Source: THR)

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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