Disney Confirms That The Lion King 2 Will Be A Prequel

The Lion King

Disney’s live-action remakes based on their animated classics have been a license to print money, raking in over $9 billion at the box office so far, but sequels have never been particularly high on the agenda. The first to get a follow-up was Alice in Wonderland, only for Through the Looking Glass to bomb spectacularly and earn over $700 million less than its predecessor.

Angelina Jolie also returned for a second outing as Maleficent, and while the drop in takings wasn’t quite so drastic, Mistress of Evil still came up over $250 million short. Furthermore, Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book was announced to be getting a sequel in August 2016 but hasn’t made any sort of forward movement since, while Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin is now primed to launch further adventures.

It was recently revealed that Favreau’s The Lion King would retroactively mark the start of a multi-film series as well, which is hardly a surprising development when the movie made over $1.65 billion at the box office. Of course, the animated original also spawned a series of straight to video follow-ups, which gives the creative team plenty of inspiration to draw on, with Moonlight‘s Barry Jenkins stepping in to direct.

There were reports several months back that The Lion King 2 could be a combination of sequel and prequel, jumping backwards and forwards in time to feature origin stories for both Mufasa and Scar, but at this week’s Disney Investor Day, the Mouse House confirmed that the movie will be a prequel. That still leaves the door open for flashbacks, though, and after Favreau’s blockbuster told almost exactly the same tale as the beloved animation without offering a shred of originality, it’ll be interesting to see how Jenkins approaches an all-new story.