The Lion King 2 Will Reportedly Feature Multiple New Characters

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Based on nothing but the numbers, it’s clear that The Lion King might be the single most popular animated movie ever made. The 1994 original is the highest-grossing 2D animation of all-time after earning more than $968 million at the box office, while Jon Favreau’s remake is the seventh-biggest hit in the history of cinema that brought in over $1.6 billion.

Naturally, nobody was particularly shocked by the news that Disney had given a green light to a sequel, which was eventually revealed to be a prequel of sorts instead. Favreau is obviously busy spearheading the small screen Star Wars universe, but Barry Jenkins is an unexpected if hugely exciting choice to step up to the plate.

It’s a far cry from any of his previous work in terms of sheer scale, but having won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and been nominated for Best Director for Moonlight, which scooped Best Picture on the night, his credentials are clear for all to see. Plot details are largely being kept under wraps for now, but a recent rumor claims to have spied a leaked production grid that has shooting for next installment in The Lion King franchise beginning in September, with a whole host of new characters set to make their presence felt.

As per the report, Disney is currently seeking actors between the ages of 8 and 13 to voice young Mufasa and Scar, while a combination of British and American accents are being sought to play Adah, Horatio, Elijah, Celia, Kaliban, Cardi and Zola, but there’s no word on what kind of anthropomorphized animals the aforementioned names could be. In any case, anything bearing The Lion King branding is basically a license to print money for Disney, but there’s certainly going to be additional pressure surrounding the follow-up given that it appears to be telling a brand new story.