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The Lion King Prequel Has Found Its Leads

In 2019, Walt Disney Studios released "The Lion King," a photo-realistic computer animated remake of the original 1994 film of the same name about a young lion named Simba, who learns to embrace his place as king following the tragic death of Mufasa, his father. Directed by Jon Favreau, the remake boasted an impressive voice cast including Donald Glover, Beyoncé, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Seth Rogen and James Earl Jones. The film made over $1.6 billion worldwide in box office sales, according to Box Office Mojo, so a sequel film was a natural decision for Disney.

In September 2020, it was announced (via Deadline) that Barry Jenkins, writer-director of the 2016 Oscar winning masterpiece "Moonlight," would be helming the follow-up. Little is known about the plot, other than that it will "explore the mythology of the characters, including Mufasa's origin story." Upon the announcement of his involvement, Jenkins said in a statement, "Helping my sister raise two young boys during the '90s, I grew up with these characters. Having the opportunity to work with Disney on expanding this magnificent tale of friendship, love and legacy while furthering my work chronicling the lives and souls of folk within the African diaspora is a dream come true."

And now, some more exciting information has come out about the upcoming project, which has been confirmed to be a prequel. Specifically, we now know the film's leads.

Meet the voices of Mufasa and Taka

Deadline has reported on the newly announced leads for the upcoming sequel to "The Lion King" — Aaron Pierre will voice Mufasa and Kelvin Harrison Jr will play Taka, who later becomes known solely as Scar.

Pierre has most recently been seen on the big screen in M. Night Shyamalan's "Old," as the character Mid-Sized Sedan. He has also already worked with director Barry Jenkins, as he recently had a supporting role in Jenkins' Amazon Prime series adaptation of Colson Whitehead's novel "The Underground Railroad." Meanwhile, Harrison Jr. acted in three notable films from last year: "The Photograph," "The High Note" and "The Trial of the Chicago 7," the latter of which saw him portraying prominent Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton. Additionally, Harrison Jr. has appeared in 2016's "The Birth of a Nation" and 2017's "It Comes at Night."

Now that two of the leads have been announced, fans will hopefully be hearing more casting news soon for the in-the-works prequel.