Academy Award-winning filmmaker Barry Jenkins has been hired by Disney to direct the follow-up to their blockbuster remake of The Lion King. Jenkins helmed the Oscar-winning Moonlight which saw the powerful film take home three awards, Mahershala Ali for best supporting actor, Jenkins for best-adapted screenplay, and after some confusion, best picture.  Speaking to Deadline, Jenkins had this to say about taking on his biggest project to date;

“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.”

The Jon Favreau directed remake of The Lion King made more than $1.6 billion worldwide during its theatrical run last year; a follow-up was practically a given. As to what the sequel will be about, plot details are thin at the moment, but Deadline speculates it will partly explore Mufasa’s youngers days while continuing the story after the events of the first movie. Presumably, the bulk of the star-studded that included  Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, Billy Eichner, John Oliver, Keegan-Michael Key, and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter will be back for the sequel.  

For my money, the recent live-action Mulan is by far the best remake Disney has produced so far, and not to be that guy, but The Lion King isn't live-action. Photo-realistic animals are still computer-generated, and let's face it, a bit odd when they start talking. Either way, the technical achievement of The Lion King is inescapable, but the original animated classic remains the definitive version for me.