Disney's 2019 remake of The Lion King may have split opinion over its live-action versus animation merits. But there was no denying its barnstorming success at the global box office: brand nostalgia, combined with a heavyweight new voice cast and the presence of Beyoncé on the soundtrack helped propel Jon Favreau's movie to takings of more than $1.6 billion.
A sequel was inevitable, and it's now become tangible with some all-important casting updates from Deadline. Aaron Pierre (Old) is set to voice the younger Mufasa with Kelvin Harrison Jr (Waves) voicing the younger Scar, or Taka to give him his birth name. In the original 1994 animation, the characters were voiced by James Earl Jones and Jeremy Irons, respectively; in the 2019 take, the latter was replaced by Chiwetel Ejiofor.
The Lion 2 will be a Mufasa origin story helmed by Oscar-winning Moonlight filmmaker Barry Jenkins, who recently collaborated with Aaron Pierre on The Underground Railroad. Deadline indicates that the stunning, photorealistic CGI animation will continue to be a hallmark as Jeff Nathanson returns to pen the screenplay. The soundtrack will be a collaboration between Hans Zimmer, who composed the score for the 1994 and 2019 versions, Jenkins regular Nicholas Britell and Pharrell.
Can the sequel rival the 2019 film's status as the highest-grossing 'animation' of all time? Let us know @Cineworld.