The Lion King' Trailer Hits CinemaCon

Disney on Monday released the first trailer for Mufasa: The Lion King.

Directed by Barry Jenkins, the music-filled film serves as both an origin story and follow-up to Jon Favreau’s 2019 photorealistic movie The Lion King. That film was based on the 1994 Disney animated classic of the same name. 

The new film, which hits theaters Dec. 20, will tell the backstory of Simba’s father, Mufasa, an orphan who grew up to be a wise, powerful and compassionate ruler.

Aaron Pierre voices the title character (voiced by James Earl Jones in both of the previous films), while Kelvin Harrison Jr. voices his evil brother, Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor in the 2019 film and Jeremy Irons in the 1994 animated classic).

Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen will return as Timon and Pumbaa, respectively, reprising their roles from Favreau’s 2019 movie. That movie grossed a total of $1.7 billion at the global box office to become the top-grossing Disney-branded film of all time.

Earlier this month, Jenkins was on hand at CinemaCon in Las Vegas to debut the first teaser trailer for theater owners.

“It’s an expansive adventure,” he told attendees, adding: “Audiences can expect so many things in this film — an epic story and a comedy with plenty of familiar faces. There are some absolutely hilarious moments and some with extreme gravitas.”

He noted that the film also will feature a lineup of all new songs. 

“They’re handcuffing me, so I can’t tell you who made those songs, but I promise you the songs are absolutely amazing,” he said.

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