Skip to Main Content
Image for 00 Mufasa Trailer ETK Hero

Mufasa: The Lion King - Everything You Need to Know About Disney's Prequel

2/26/2024 • 2 min read

(Updated 04/29/2024)Mufasa: The Lion King | Cinemark

Disney's "live-action" remake of THE LION KING, released in 2019, was a hit for the studio. (It was also created with cutting-edge CG animation, with only one or two "real" shots present in the movie — so the "live-action" description only refers to the photorealistic nature of the characters.) For the past few years, Disney has been prepping a prequel that will explore the story of Mufasa, and the studio has an award-winning director on board to follow THE LION KING remake director Jon Favreau.

This new Lion King live action movie will tell the story of the rise of one of the great kings of the Pride Lands. We'll see the development of the rivalry between Mufasa and Scar, and learn of the events that led up to the birth of Simba. Here's everything you need to know about MUFASA: THE LION KING.

What Is the Release Date for Mufasa: The Lion King?

Disney will release MUFASA: THE LION KING in movie theaters on December 20, 2024.

Watch the Teaser Trailer for Mufasa: The Lion King

While this first MUFASA trailer doesn't tell us much about the fact that the movie, like other LION KING films before it, will be a musical, there is a lot to look at! We get a broad sense of how the movie renders the story's landscape, and an overview of the characters.

What's the Plot of Mufasa: The Lion King?

We only know the MUFASA plot in very broad strokes right now. We know that the movie will be presented with a framing story in which the mandrill shaman Rafiki tells Kiara, the daughter of Simba and Nala, the history of her grandfather's journey. Timon and Pumbaa will be on hand to add their own details and/or distractions to the story. Most of the time, however, will be spent with the flashback to Mufasa and Scar's early years."

Actor Kelvin Harrison Jr., who voices Scar, said in April 2023 that we will ""get a backstory to Scar. he is hilarious. He is still very very spicy. He is also the sweetest young lion you'll ever meet." So take that as you will!

Is Mufasa a Remake of The Lion King II: Simba's Pride?

Based on Disney's statements so far, it seems that MUFASA has nothing to do with THE LION KING II: SIMBA'S PRIDE. That direct-to-video sequel was released in 1998, and introduced Simba and Nala's daughter Kiara. Despite that character connection, we do not expect any aspects of SIMBA'S PRIDE to inform MUFASA.

What's the Cast of Mufasa: The Lion King?

More talent will likely be revealed over the summer, but so far we know of a handful of core actors who are returning for MUFASA from THE LION KING, and two new additions who take over key roles.

Aaron Pierre ("The Underground Railroad," "Krypton") voices Mufasa and, as mentioned, Kelvin Harrison Jr. (ELVIS, THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO SEVEN) lends his voice to Scar. They take over the roles from James Earl Jones and Chiwetel Ejiofor, respectively.

Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner, and John Kani return as Pumbaa, Timon, and Rafiki, respectively. And while we know that Kiara is in the movie, we do not know who voices her.

Who Directed Mufasa: The Lion King?

The most surprising aspect of MUFASA is the director: It's Barry Jenkins, whose movie MOONLIGHT won the Best Picture Oscar in 2017. Jenkins was announced as the MUFASA director in 2020, and he has been working on the movie ever since. He's working from a script by Jeff Nathanson, who also wrote THE LION KING remake.

"Jeff Nathanson, who wrote the script, did a great job of really exploring how people become great," Barry Jenkins said in 2022. And while we don't have too many specifics yet, there are definitely songs in the movie. "Please expect musical numbers," Jenkins said. "Really wonderful musical numbers, I'd say."


MUFASA: THE LION KING opens on December 20.


All images courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures.

Get email updates about movies, rewards and more! Subscribe to our emails Subscribe to our emails