The story of the King is now set for 2024. Disney has just announced the release dates for several of their upcoming projects including Inside Out 2 and the live-action remake of Snow White, as well as a change in the release date for the upcoming live-action The Haunted Mansion film. Joining this list of newly announced release dates is Mufasa: The Lion King, the CG prequel to the 2019 remake The Lion King. The upcoming film will now be released in theaters on July 5, 2024.
This announcement of the official release date comes soon after Barry Jenkins, who will be taking over from Jon Favreau in the director’s chair for the prequel film, revealed during the Disney and Pixar panel at D23 that Mufasa: The Lion King would have a 2024 release window. Now, the year-long window has been narrowed down to a single day. The prequel story will follow Mufasa and Taka, his brother that would go on to be known as Scar, as it explores the former’s rise to his reign as king.
Collider first reported on the prequel in 2021, when Aaron Pierre and Kelvin Harrison Jr. were announced as the leading roles of Mufasa and Taka, respectively. The story will reportedly be told through the lens of Timon, Pumbaa, and Rafiki as Simba, now the King, wishes to learn about his father’s past and continue his legacy. It has not been announced if Billy Eichner, Seth Rogan, and John Kani will be reprising their roles from the 2019 film. Currently, outside of Pierre, and Harrison Jr., there is no word on additional casting for the upcoming film.
Jeff Nathanson, the screenwriter who penned the 2019 screenplay for the previous computer-generated adaptation of The Lion King, once again returns to write the script for Mufasa: The Lion King. Nathanson will also serve as a producer on the project. Jenkins is best known for his work as the director of films like Oscar-winning Moonlight and his Amazon Prime Video original series The Underground Railroad. The producers on the project are no strangers to working with Jenkins, with Mark Ceryak and Adele Romanski having worked on The Underground Railroad and Moonlight, respectively. Peter M. Tobyansen (Avatar: The Way of Water) will also serve as a producer on Mufasa: The Lion King.
Mufasa: The Lion King will premiere on July 5, 2024. Stayed tuned to Collider for more news, details, and updates on the upcoming project.