“The Lion King” Is Getting a Prequel 30 Years Later! Everything to Know About “Mufasa: The Lion King”

'Mufasa: The Lion King' explores the early life of Mufasa as he goes from orphaned cub to legendary king of the Pride Lands



'Mufasa: The Lion King'.

Walt Disney Studios' classic The Lion King was released 30 years ago on June 24, 1994. Three decades later, the much-anticipated release of Mufasa: The Lion King — an animated musical drama that is a prequel to the 2019 adaptation of the timeless classic — is mere months away.

Mufasa: The Lion King will take viewers through Mufasa's origin story, his friendships, relationships and pivotal events that led to his eventual reign as king of the Pride Lands.

From the esteemed director of Moonlight, Aftersun and If Beale Street Could Talk, Barry Jenkins and returning writer from the 2019 adaptation, Jeff Nathanson, Mufasa will bring forth new layers to the story while honoring the enduring legacy.

Among the ensemble cast of familiar faces are Beyoncé and her daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, which Jenkins noted has added a dynamic element to a film rooted in family values.

“[Watching Beyoncé], both on the screen and behind the screen, get to be a mother — and how that affected and impacted for the better the work that we were all doing — was just really awesome," Jenkins told PEOPLE in April 2024.

From the release date to the rest of the cast, here’s everything to know about the musical drama Mufasa: The Lion King

What is Mufasa: The Lion King about?

<p>Disney</p> Rafiki Mufasa in Disney Mufasa the lion king


Rafiki Mufasa in Disney Mufasa the lion king

Mufasa explores the early life of Mufasa as he goes from an orphaned cub to his rise as one of the greatest kings of the Pride Lands (and the history of animated cinema). The origin story will offer a deeper understanding of his character and the dynamics within the Pride Lands, including Mufasa’s relationship with his brother Taka, who later becomes the famed Lion King antagonist, Scar. The story is told through flashbacks narrated by Pride Lands shaman Rafiki to Kiara (daughter of Simba and Nala), with added witty commentary from Timon and Pumbaa.

"What you'll learn from the story is that Mufasa is who he is ... because of the family and the friends that he has,” Jenkins said at Disney's D23 Expo in 2022. “And so I saw myself in that. I thought: 'This is a really beautiful story to tell.' "

Who is in the cast of Mufasa: The Lion King?

<p>Francis Specker/CBS/Getty</p> Beyonce and Blue Ivy Carter at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards on February 4, 2024.

Francis Specker/CBS/Getty

Beyonce and Blue Ivy Carter at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards on February 4, 2024.

The upcoming film has a star-studded cast, with many returning from the 2019 adaptation. Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner, John Kani and Beyoncé will reprise their roles as Simba, Pumbaa, Timon, Rafiki and Nala, respectively. Joining them are new cast members such as Aaron Pierre as young Mufasa, Kelvin Harrison Jr. as young Scar, Tiffany Boone as Sarabi, Mads Mikkelsen as Kiros, Thandiwe Newton as Eshe, Lennie James as Obasi and Blue Ivy making her feature film debut as Kiara.

The mother-daughter duo of Beyoncé and Blue Ivy brings a unique dynamic to the film, as the 12-year-old recently joined her mother as a backup dancer on Beyoncé’s Renaissance tour and was featured in her Grammy-winning “Brown Skin Girl” music video.

“I feel like Blue grew quite a bit over the course of that tour,” Jenkins told PEOPLE in April 2024. “The movie is kind of like this snapshot, this time capsule of a moment in their lives that I think is really beautiful. And it absolutely worked for the film.”

What will be on the soundtrack of Mufasa: The Lion King?

<p>Disney</p> 'Mufasa: The Lion King'.


'Mufasa: The Lion King'.

Music has always been a crucial part of The Lion King franchise, and fans can expect original tracks by award-winning songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda, celebrated for his contributions to Broadway hits like Hamilton and other Disney animated features like Moana and Ecanto.

The Lion King has an incredible musical legacy with music from some of the greatest songwriters around, and I'm humbled and proud to be a part of it,” Miranda said in a statement. “It's been a joy working alongside Barry Jenkins to bring Mufasa's story to life, and we can't wait for audiences to experience this film in theaters."

Related: 'The Lion King' Prequel Director Barry Jenkins Says Film Will Have 'Really Wonderful Musical Numbers'

When does Mufasa: The Lion King come out?

<p>Disney</p> 'Mufasa: The Lion King'.


'Mufasa: The Lion King'.

Mufasa is set to hit theaters on Dec. 20, 2024.

Is there a trailer for Mufasa: The Lion King?

Walt Disney Studios released the first trailer for Mufasa on April 29. The trailer opens with narration from Rafiki as a lion cub gazes at his reflection in a raindrop, which the mandrill shaman introduces as Mufasa: “Born without a drop of nobility in his blood — a lion who would change our lives forever.” Set to the backdrop of Ledo M’s vocals in the original “Circle of Life,” the trailer features clips of giraffes, lions, elephants and a young Mufasa throughout the Pride Lands expanse — with some glimpses of a less savannahian landscape of snow and ice. While Rafiki’s narration is the only voice featured in the trailer, the clips hint at a myriad of action and adventure in the forthcoming film.  

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