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'Lion King' follow-up movie to be directed by Barry Jenkins

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Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — A new Lion King film is in the works, Disney sources have confirmed to Good Morning America.

The sources added that Barry Jenkins, who won a best picture Oscar in 2018 for Moonlight, is set to direct the project.

“Helping my sister raise two young boys during the ’90s, I grew up with these characters,” Jenkins said in a statement to Deadline. “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 original Lion King animated film, which premiered in 1994, grossed $968.5 million worldwide to become the 51st highest grossing movie of all time, according to Box Office Mojo. The Jon Favreau-directed live action Lion King, which debuted last year, earned $1.65 billion worldwide and is currently ranked #7 on Box Office Mojo’s list.

Jeff Nathanson, who wrote the Favreau-directed film, has reportedly finished an initial draft of the follow-up movie. According to Deadline, the story is likely to explore “the mythology of the characters, including Mufasa’s origin story.”

“Moving the story forward while looking back conjures memories of The Godfather: Part II, set on the African plain with a continuation of the tradition of music that was a key part of the 1994 animated classic, the 2019 film and the blockbuster Broadway stage transfer,” the publication reported.

No release date for the new film has been announced.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

By Good Morning America
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