Mufasa: The Lion King Prequel

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In 1994, “The Lion King” reigned supreme as the box office champion, cementing its place as a timeless Disney classic. In 2019, it inspired a photorealistic remake. The 2019 remake further expanded the franchise with a 2024 sequel/prequel, “Mufasa: The Lion King.” Disney recently unveiled the trailer for this CG-animated musical, showcasing the origin story of Mufasa, Simba’s father and the future king of the Pride Lands, voiced by James Earl Jones in both the original and the remake.

Mufasa’s journey began as a young lion, mirroring his son Simba’s path in the Circle of Life. As we anticipate the return to Pride Rock, let’s explore the essential details about “Mufasa: The Lion King” before its release on December 20th.

Mufasa: The Lion King Prequel

Aaron Pierre and Chiwetel Ejiofor will portray Mufasa and Scar, respectively.

Oscar-winning director Barry Jenkins cast Aaron Pierre as the voice of young Mufasa in The Lion King prequel. Impressed by Pierre’s performance in Othello, Jenkins invited him to audition for The Underground Railroad. Pierre expressed his admiration and desire to collaborate with Jenkins, who in turn praised Pierre’s work.

Mufasa: The Lion King Prequel

Kelvin Harrison Jr., who has appeared in notable films like “It Comes at Night” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” lends his voice to Mufasa’s brother and rival, Taka (later known as Scar), in “The Lion King.” Scar’s treacherous actions culminate in him seizing the throne from Mufasa, voiced by Chiwetel Ejiofor.

**Voice Cast of** _**Mufasa: The Lion King**_**:**

Black Panther star John Kani reprises his role as Mufasa’s friend and advisor, Rafiki, while Kagiso Lediga voices young Rafiki. Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen return as the carefree duo Timon and Pumbaa. Joining the cast is Blue Ivy Carter as Mufasa’s granddaughter, Kiara, the cub of Simba and Nala from the original film.

Tiffany Boone (as Sarabi), Thandiwe Newton (Eshe), Lennie James (Obasi), Anika Noni Rose (Afia), Keith David (Masego), and Mads Mikkelsen (Kiros) join the cast, alongside returning stars Donald Glover (Simba) and Beyoncé (Nala).

**About Mufasa: The Lion King**

Mufasa’s tale unfolds within The Lion King’s epic narrative. As the wise and revered king of the Pride Lands, Mufasa embodies the pinnacle of leadership and responsibility. His unwavering love for his son, Simba, and his commitment to his kingdom shape the events that transpire. Mufasa’s teachings and guidance shape Simba’s journey towards self-discovery and his eventual destiny as the future king.

Mufasa’s prequel, “Mufasa: The Lion King,” recounts how Mufasa rose to become the Pride Lands’ king. Rafiki narrates Mufasa’s journey to Kiara, the late king’s descendant, describing him as “a lion of humble origins, destined to shape our history.” The tale, as Rafiki unveils it, originates “far beyond the horizon’s embrace, in a realm unknown.”

Jenkins explained at Disney’s D23 Expo in 2022 that the story delves into Mufasa’s rise to royalty. Despite the assumption that he was inherently a royal, Mufasa’s journey began as an orphaned cub navigating the world alone. Exploring this tale allows viewers to witness firsthand Mufasa’s path to finding his destiny within the Circle of Life.

“Mufasa’s identity is shaped by his family and friends, much like mine. I found this narrative relatable and saw it as a compelling story to share.”

In Mufasa: The Lion King, Rafiki recounts the tale of Mufasa to Kiara, Simba and Nala’s cub. Through flashbacks, we witness Mufasa’s journey as an orphaned cub who encounters Taka, the heir to a royal lineage. Together, they form an extraordinary group of misfits who embark on a perilous quest, facing challenges and bonding as they strive to overcome a menacing foe.

Who directed the prequel to *The Lion King*?

Behind the film is Barry Jenkins, celebrated for his works “Moonlight” and “If Beale Street Could Talk.” This prequel and sequel to Jon Favreau’s “Lion King” remake features a script from Jeff Nathanson, who also penned the 2019 “Lion King” re-imagining and Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.”

Mufasa’s greatness is not inherent, according to Jenkins, who spoke to EW in 2022. The studio and scriptwriter Jeff Nathanson explored how people achieve greatness and become legendary figures. Expect many familiar characters and impressive musical numbers.

The production team boasts Oscar-winning Moonlight producer Adele Romanski and Emmy-nominated Mark Ceryak (The Underground Railroad, Aftersun). Similar to The Lion King 2019, Mufasa combines live-action filmmaking with photorealistic computer-generated imagery.

Who is composing the music for the stage production of “Mufasa: The Lion King”?

Hans Zimmer scored both versions of “The Lion King” (1994 and 2019, co-composed with Pharrell Williams). For “Mufasa,” the soundtrack was composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, known for his work on Disney’s “Moana,” “Encanto,” and live-action “The Little Mermaid,” as well as Broadway’s “Hamilton.”

Miranda collaborated with Mark Mancina, Zimmer’s longtime collaborator and composer of Disney’s “Tarzan” and “Brother Bear,” for the film’s songs. Additional music and performances were provided by Lebo M, who contributed to both versions of “The Lion King.”

“I’m honored to be a part of the incredible musical legacy of *The Lion King,*” Miranda said, listing an array of the film’s music team: Elton John, Tim Rice, Hans Zimmer, Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Beyoncé, Labrinth, Ilya Salmanzadeh, Beau Black, Ford Riley, and others. “Working alongside Barry Jenkins to bring Mufasa’s story to life has been a joy, and we’re excited for audiences to experience this film in theaters.”

**Release Date:** December 20

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