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The Lion King Movie Isn’t Just A Prequel, Director Teases

Director Barry Jenkins teases that Mufasa: The Lion King will have scenes that take place in the present. A prequel to 2019’s live-action remake of The Lion King, Mufasa will center on the younger years of Simba’s father, chronicling his life in the Pride Lands. Exclusive footage at D23 Expo revealed that Mufasa came to the Pride Lands as an orphan during a flood, setting the groundwork for a compelling backstory. The film will star Aaron Pierre as a young Mufasa. In addition, a younger version of Scar, whose origin some audiences believed was the better choice for a prequel, will be voiced by Kelvin Harrison Jr.

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In addition to the new cast members, Billy Eichner, Seth Rogan, and John Kani are set to reprise their roles as Timon, Pumbaa, and Rafiki, respectively. Their return reconfirms Mufasa takes place in the same continuity as 2019’s The Lion King, but also indicates the film may not be as much of a prequel as it seemed. Recasting Mufasa and Scar for their younger versions while keeping the same casting for other characters implies audiences will glimpse some flash-forwards to around the time The Lion King takes place.

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This mystery has been clarified by Mufasa‘s director. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Jenkins teases the Lion King prequel will feature scenes in the present and the past. He confirms the presence of many well-known characters in the film, and implies that some present-day scenes of them would be featured. Check out what Jenkins says below:

I think you’ll see a ton of familiar faces. It is a prequel, but again, it’s a prequel in the sense that these are all the same characters, but we’re telling you how they came to be who they are. So we’re literally going backward. We’re going back in time with many of these characters. We’re in the present, as well, but we’re also going back to tell who these characters were.

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Jenkins’ final sentence makes a distinction between past and present in the movie, hinting that some scenes in Mufasa will take place around the same time as The Lion King. With the number of Lion King characters that could return in Mufasa, such as Mufasa’s mate Sarabi or his royal advisor Zazu, it would make sense to construct the film around characters who knew Mufasa telling the story of his life. In addition to suggesting the film’s structure, Jenkins also teases “wonderful musical numbers” throughout.

Jenkins’ details about what audiences will see in Mufasa make the film sound like a familiar experience for Lion King fans, but also one that stands on its own. If the film is set to have scenes in the present alongside Mufasa’s origins, it would make sense for present-day characters to reminisce, those memories forming the backbone of the story. If that’s the case, then it should prove interesting to see what Scar’s role in the film will be and how he will be portrayed compared to his brother.

Source: EW


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