The Oscar-winning director of Moonlight, Barry Jenkins, has signed up to direct The Lion King 2 for Disney.

Now here’s a surprise. Not that Disney is pressing ahead with a sequel to its $1.6bn-grossing remake of The Lion King, but that it’s made such an interesting choice for the new movie.

The Lion King 2 will be directed by Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk director Barry Jenkins, it’s been revealed. It’ll use similar technology to the last film, but – in the nicest sense – hopefully there’ll be a more interesting movie in the midst of it all this time.

The appointment of Oscar-winning Jenkins suggests so (and that’s no slight on the excellent Jon Favreau, who helmed the last movie). He’ll be working from a script by Jeff Nathanson, who adapted the 2019 take on the story. A first draft screenplay has already been completed, and now with Jenkins on board, it’s a case of refining that and moving forward.

No word yet as to just when we can expect the film, or which direction it’ll follow. Will it tread the path of the two straight-to-video sequels? The only rumour so far suggests an origin story for Mufasa will be part of the mix.

More as we hear it.

Deadline

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