It's the Circle of Cinema: The First Trailer for 'Mufasa: The Lion King' Steps Into the Story of Simba's Father

Directed by 'Moonlight' filmmaker Barry Jenkins, the latest trip to the Pride Lands is a prequel to 2019's photorealistic remake of the animated hit.
Sarah Ward
Published on April 30, 2024

If you just can't wait to spend more time in the photorealistic version of The Lion King's world, here comes a film about the lion that's king of the Pride Lands before Simba gets the job. Mufasa: The Lion King is again styled to look like reality, not animation — and, set to arrive in cinemas Down Under in December 2024, it gives 2019's The Lion King, a remake of the 90s animated hit, a prequel. It also just dropped its first teaser trailer.

Call it the circle of cinema. Call it the movie that was always bound to happen once technology was rolled out to bring this beloved franchise back to the screen with visuals that make its animals appear as if they've walked out of a documentary (well, almost, as the last film demonstrated). Donald Glover (Mr & Mrs Smith), Beyoncé, Seth Rogen (Dumb Money), Billy Eichner (Bros) and John Kani (Murder Mystery 2) are all back from the past flick, reprising their roles as Simba, Nala, Pumbaa, Timon and Rafiki. But as the feature's moniker makes plain, this isn't any of those characters' tales.

Mufasa, aka Simba's father, sits at the centre of a picture directed by Moonlight Oscar-winner Barry Jenkins. The movie is presented as a story told by Rafiki, Timon and Pumbaa to Kiara, the daughter of Simba and Nala, who is voiced by Blue Ivy Carter. So goes a narrative about an orphaned cub who is taken in by a lion with royal blood, then set on a path that leads to the events of The Lion King.

Among the voice cast, Aaron Pierre (Foe) does the honours as Mufasa. Kelvin Harrison Jr is Taka (Chevalier), the lion prince who takes Mufasa in like a brother. Tiffany Boone (Hunters), Mads Mikkelsen (Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny), Thandiwe Newton (Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget), Lennie James (Genius), Anika Noni Rose (Pantheon), Keith David (Rick and Morty), Kagiso Lediga (The Umbrella Men) and Preston Nyman (A Small Light) also lend their vocals to the flick.

As well as Jenkins, Mufasa: The Lion King boasts another huge off-screen name, with Hamilton great Lin-Manuel Miranda writing the movie's tunes.

"Elton John. Tim Rice. Hans Zimmer. Lebo M. Mark Mancina. Beyoncé, Labrinth, Ilya Salmanzadeh. Beau Black, Ford Riley, the incredible music team on The Lion Guard, and so many musical contributors over the years. 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," said Miranda.

"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 theatres."

Check out the first trailer for Mufasa: The Lion King below:

Mufasa: The Lion King releases in cinemas Down Under on Thursday, December 19, 2024.

Images: courtesy of Disney. © 2024 Disney Enterprises Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Published on April 30, 2024 by Sarah Ward
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