Return to the Pridelands with the first trailer for Mufasa: The Lion King

After the massive success of 2019’s “live-action” Lion King, it only made sense for Disney to explore more of that photorealistic CG world. Instead of adapting the direct-to-home-video sequel The Lion King: Simba’s Pride, or the Disney Junior series The Lion Guard, though, the next movie will delve into the backstory of Simba’s father, Mufasa.

It’s a prequel, but it’s also a little bit of the sequel, since apparently the framing device involves the daughter of Simba and Nala. And it appears that Mufasa’s origins are surprising, because the trailer opens up on a snowy mountain instead of the savanna from the original movies.

The official synopsis is as follows:

Mufasa: The Lion King enlists Rafiki to relay the legend of Mufasa to young lion cub Kiara, daughter of Simba and Nala, with Timon and Pumbaa lending their signature schtick. Told in flashbacks, the story introduces Mufasa as an orphaned cub, lost and alone until he meets a sympathetic lion named Taka—the heir to a royal bloodline. The chance meeting sets in motion an expansive journey of an extraordinary group of misfits searching for their destiny—their bonds will be tested as they work together to evade a threatening and deadly foe.

Hardcore Lion King fans will recognize that “Taka” is actually Scar’s given name. So it seems like this prequel will show how Mufasa usurped the divine right to rule by being a more competent leader. And hey! If they ever adapt future Kiara’s story, maybe they’ll turn it from a star-crossed romance into a tale of the young lioness introducing democracy to the Pridelands.

Directed by Academy Award-winning director Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), Mufasa: The Lion King stars Aaron Pierre (Old) as Mufasa, with Kelvin Harrison Jr. (Chevalier) as Taka. John Kani, Donald Glover, and Beyoncé reprise their role as Rafiki, Simba, and Nala, respectively, with Blue Ivy Carter (Beyoncé’s daughter, y’all!!!!!!!!!!) making her debut as Kiara. Lin-Manuel Miranda will be writing new songs for the movie.

Mufasa: The Lion King is scheduled to hit theaters on Dec. 20.

This post was originally published on Polygon

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