"Oh yes, the past can hurt," Rafiki once said. "But from the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it."

In 2019, Jon Favreau reimagined The Lion King by way of Oscar-nominated visual effects, although he remained largely faithful to the story of Simba that audiences know and love. Now, Oscar-winning filmmaker Barry Jenkins (Best Adapted Screenplay for Moonlight) takes the reigns for a follow-up that is both a sequel and a prequel: In Mufasa: The Lion King, Rafiki shares the untold story of the titular lion king with Simba and Nala's daughter, Kiara.

"This story begins far beyond the mountains and the shadows, on the other side of the light," Rafiki narrates in the trailer for Mufasa. "A lion was born without a drop of nobility in his blood — a lion who would change our lives forever."

Mufasa reveals Mufasa's rise from orphaned cub to ruler of the Pride Lands, after he befriends the young prince, Taka. (Aaron Pierre voices Mufasa, while Kelvin Harrison Jr. voices Taka, the lion who will become known as Scar.) Donald Glover and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter reprise their respective roles as Simba and Nala, alongside Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, Billy Eichner as Timon, and John Kani as Rafiki. New additions to the voice cast include Mads Mikkelsen, Thandiwe Newton, and Blue Ivy Carter as Kiara.

Two-time Oscar-nominated songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda (Moana and Encanto) is behind Mufasa's original songs and said, "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. 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 theaters."

Mufasa: The Lion King roars into theaters on Dec. 20. Watch the teaser trailer now.


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