Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Disney announces photo-realistic Lion King prequel from Moonlight's Barry Jenkins

The Lion King
The Lion King
Photo: Disney

Sure, Disney’s soulless, computer-generated The Lion King remake was pointless and drab, but it was still The Lion King and that, combined with Beyoncé, is all it really needed to secure $1.65 billion for Disney. Today, as if there was any doubt, Disney has announced the next step into what will surely evolve into The Lion King cinematic universe: A prequel directed by Oscar-winning Moonlight helmer Barry Jenkins and written by Jeff Nathanson, the writer behind the 2019 remake.

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According to Deadline, the prequel will provide an origin story for Mufasa that will again be rendered using the remake’s photo-realistic technology. This, as our review points out, makes it so we’ll be “essentially just watching two animals stare blankly at each other.” Deadline also notes 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.”

The good news is that Jenkins is one of our best modern filmmakers and, in a statement, he emphasizes his personal connection to the material. “Helping my sister raise two young boys during the ‘90s, I grew up with these characters,” he said. “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.”

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Anyways, we look forward to baby Rafiki, ominous shots of wildebeests, and an explanation for just why Scar was so dang evil.

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Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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