The Lion King 2 director Barry Jenkins spoke about the new storylines that will be present in the long-awaited prequel from Disney. The original release of The Lion King in 1994 garnered critical acclaim and stole the hearts of audiences, becoming the second highest-grossing film of all time, right behind 1993’s Jurassic Park.
The prequel to Favreau’s 2019 remake will focus on a young Mufasa and his brother Scar. The upcoming film will deeply explore and analyze the complex relationship between the two brothers and why they harbor so much dislike and contempt for each other, which ultimately makes them rivals rather than blood relatives. In a recent interview with Variety, Jenkins said that on first reading he was completely “overwhelmed by how good the script was.” He also talked about some of the new plot details for the Disney prequel. He declared:
I grew up with these characters. They mean so much to me. I think the work that screenwriter Jeff Nathanson has done is a real return to childhood, and anyone who has ever loved this franchise understands what it’s worth.
Although Jenkins was tight-lipped on details, he did let fans know that the Lion King prequel will give viewers a glimpse of how Mufasa became the king everyone knows:
Kings are not just born. They have to become who they are through a series of events that many people can relate to. So I don’t feel any pressure. I just want to do a good job.
While working on such an animation classic might intimidate other directors, Jenkins is so focused on doing his best that he doesn’t have time to feel pressure from others, only himself. He says that because he has such a personal connection with these characters, the tunnel vision of making the best movie is all he sees. Regardless of the director’s confidence, taking on a beloved franchise like The Lion King isn’t all that difficult.