Walt Disney Pictures Sees ‘The Lion King’ As Next Major Film Series, Compares It to ‘Star Wars’

“The Lion King” may become the next “Star Wars”-level epic saga from Disney, according to the President of Walt Disney Pictures Sean Bailey.

"The Lion King" may become the next "Star Wars"-level epic saga from Disney, according to the President of Walt Disney Pictures Sean Bailey.

‘The Lion King’ Could be the Next Epic Story Universe Setting From Disney

“The Lion King” could become a majorly utilized story universe within Disney intellectual properties, according to the President of Walt Disney Pictures Sean Bailey.

In anticipation of the upcoming release, “Mufasa: The Lion King,” the President of Walt Disney Pictures has suggested he may have extended plans and expectations for the franchise moving forward. During a recent interview with The New York Times, Sean Bailey said, “‘The Lion King’ could expand into a big, epic saga, like the ‘Star Wars’ franchise. There’s a lot of room to run if we can find the stories.”

‘The Lion King’ Upcoming Feature Film Release

The first iteration of Disney’s “The Lion King,” animated and starring Johnathan Taylor Thomas voice-acting for Simba, released in 1994 and was a box office success. It became one of Disney’s most iconic and beloved animated films. The “live-action” version, which looked more realistic but only featured CGI (computer generated imagery) animal visuals, was created by Mandalorian lead and “Elf” star Jon Favreau in 2019, which saw an even greater return at the box office.

Now, a CGI prequel entitled “Mufasa: The Lion King,” is in development under direction from Barry Jenkins. The story will follow Mufasa’s life as a cub and explore the origins behind his poor relationship with brother Scar.

Jenkins’ first feature film was” Medicine for Melancholy,” for which he received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best First Feature. Jenkins also directed and co-wrote the independent drama “Moonlight,” which won several accolades, including the Academy Award for Best Picture. Jenkins also received an Oscar nomination for Best Director and won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay alongside Tarell Alvin McCraney.

Previous Efforts With ‘The Lion King’ Franchise

This will not be the first time Disney has tried to capitalize on the previous successes of “The Lion King.” After the initial animated feature released in 1994, Disney created and released two more additions to the franchise. Both “The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride” in 1998 and “The Lion King 1½” in 2004 were direct-to-video and did not see the same success as the original. There were also two television series briefly in production entitled “Timon and Pumbaa” and “The Lion Guard.”

It wasn’t until Favreau’s direction of the 2019 remake that “The Lion King” had another shot at commercial success. “Mufasa: The Lion King,” is currently scheduled for a summer 2024 release.

Take a look at some of our coverage related to “The Lion King” using the links below:

Are you hoping to see more installations of “The Lion King” going forward? We’d like to see your opinions in the comments below.

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