WASHINGTON: American filmmaker Barry Jenkins has officially announced, 'Mufasa: The Lion King', a new prequel to the 2019 'Lion King' film, at D23.
According to Variety, originally announced as a sequel to the 2019 film in 2020, 'Mufasa' narrates the origin story of the iconic Disney father, exploring his childhood growing up with his brother Scar.
The film will feature the voice of Aaron Pierre and Kelvin Harrison Jr. as younger versions of the characters, filling in for James Earl Jones as Mufasa in both 1994 original and the 2019 CGI remake, and Jeremy Irons and Chiwetel Ejiofor as the villainous Scar.
In addition to announcing the title, exclusive preview footage of the film was shown to the audience of the D23 expo.
It began with Rafiki (John Kani) telling the story of Mufasa to young cubs, revealing that the lion was actually an orphaned cub who had to navigate the world alone until he rose to become the king of Pride Rock.
As such, the film goes beyond the iconic Pride Lands to show him as a cub in a desert, where he is swept away by a flood and becomes an orphan.
Although brief, the footage also included narration from Billy Eichner's Timon, in a meta joke tag for the footage: "Wait wait wait, am I not in this story? I don't feel seen."
'Mufasa' will be Jenkins's third feature film, after directing the Oscar-winning 'Moonlight' and 'If Beale Street Could Talk'.
A release date for the film has not yet been announced, as per Variety.