The king has returned. Disney will be adding to its iconic Lion King saga with a new movie all about Simba’s dad and king of the Pride Lands Mufasa. Disney recently announced the upcoming live-action movie Mufasa: The Lion King will take a deep dive into the powerful lion’s backstory. The movie’s release date is still years away, but here’s everything we know so far.
Mufasa will tell the origin story of Simba’s father.
The live-action movie, which was announced during Disney’s D23 fan expo in September 2022, will be a prequel to the 2019 live-action remake of The Lion King and tell the origin story of Simba’s father, Mufusa, as well as his brother Taka (who will later become known as Scar). The movie will also tell viewers all about Mufusa’s rise to be king.
The prequel was first reported back in 2021 and will follow a plot in which Simba, who is now king, and his son, Kopa, will be told about Mufusa’s past by Timon, Pumbaa, and Rafiki, according to Collider. (We’ll also get to see young versions of that trio of characters!) The story will reportedly be told in time frames, creators have said. Mufasa: The Lion King will loosely follow the children's book A Tale of Two Brothers by Alex Simmons, which will tie the story into the original, animated 1994 Lion King movie. In the book, Rafiki tells Simba's son, Kopa, a tale about Mufasa and Scar.
The movie will also reveal that Simba had a much different upbringing than his dad. “Mufasa was actually an orphaned cub who had to navigate the world alone by himself, and in telling this story, we get to experience the real journey of how Mufasa found his place in the circle of life,” filmmaker Barry Jenkins said during the D23 expo, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Many casting details for Mufasa are still TBD, but some stars are coming back.
No word yet on whether actor James Earl Jones, who voices the mighty Pride Rock patriarch will return for the role. However, Aaron Pierre and Kelvin Harrison Jr. have reportedly been announced to take the leading roles, and Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen will return in Mufasa to voice Timon and Pumbaa.
When will Mufusa premiere?
Mufusa: The Lion King is slated to be released in theaters on July 5, 2024.