Barry Jenkins reveals first details about Lion King prequel Mufasa

The Lion King
(Image credit: Walt Disney Studios)

Disney has unveiled the first few details about Barry Jenkins' The Lion King prequel – and confirmed its official title, too: Mufasa: The Lion King.

At the D23 Expo 2022, the studio invited the filmmaker onstage to share the movie's logo (which you can see below) and clue fans in on what they can expect from the follow-up. "It's a story told in two different timeframes," he told the audience, explaining that it'll chart the rise of Simba's father Mufasa from orphan cub to Pride Rock ruler. 

It was also revealed during that presentation that Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen will reprise their roles as Timon and Pumbaa, respectively, as the meerkat-and-warthog duo and their wise pal Rafiki relay Mufasa's life. Mufasa: The Lion King, which has already drawn comparisons to The Godfather Part II, will see (or more accurately, hear) Aaron Pierre, who worked with Jenkins on the Emmy-nominated series The Underground Railroad, and Kelvin Harrison Jr. voice Mufasa and Scar, respectively.

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During the panel, Jenkins also opened up as to why he was so keen to direct the feline-heavy flick, recalling how he would watch the VHS tape of the 1994 original constantly as a teen.

"I really knew this character, I loved him but then, as I was reading this wonderful script, I starting really thinking about Mufasa and why he's great, and how people become great," he said. "It's crazy. I am not a king, I am not a king, but when I make my movies... I was onstage at the Oscars with Moonlight and five of my best friends from college was also there, and what you'll learn in this story is that Mufasa is great because of the family and friends he has with him." 

While we wait for its release in 2024, be sure to check out our breakdown of all the new Disney movies heading your way.

Amy West

I am an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things TV and film across our Total Film and SFX sections. Elsewhere, my words have been published by the likes of Digital Spy, SciFiNow, PinkNews, FANDOM, Radio Times, and Total Film magazine.