The circle of life continues to go around and around and around.

Disney had previously announced that they were working on a prequel to The Lion King, which recently became an even bigger hit in live-action (sort of — the animals looked real, but were created with CGI) than it was in traditional animation. 2019’s Lion King grossed an astounding $1.6 billion worldwide, so of course Disney wanted to expand the film into a franchise if they could.

The way they decided to do that was to make a prequel to the film, and they brought in a major talent to do it. Barry Jenkins the director of Moonlight and the recent Underground Railroad series on Amazon will helm the movie. And now, per Deadline, it has its main cast. Aaron Pierre, who appeared on Jenkins’ Underground Railroad, will play the young Mufasa. Kelvin Harrison Jr., recently seen in The Trial of the Chicago 7, will play Taka. In the book The Lion King: A Tale of Two Brothers, Taka and Mufasa are brothers, and sons of another king of Pride Rock named Ahadi. Presumably this prequel will follow at least the same broad contours of that story.

A prequel to a great, singular film sounds like a cash grab, but the involvement of an artist of Jenkins’ caliber is enough to make you think that perhaps this Lion King prequel could become something more than an excuse to wring a little more life out of a beloved title that’s already been remade once. The Lion King prequel does not yet have an announced release date.

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