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Mufasa: The Lion King: Release date, cast and plot for Disney prequel

Disney’s live-action reboot gets the prequel treatment

Mufasa stands on the top of Pride Rock alongside Simba as a cub.
Mufasa: The Lion King will be a prequel to the 2019 reboot. (Credit: Disney)

Disney invites you to revisit its photo-realistic digital savannah one more time for Mufasa: The Lion King, a prequel story to director Jon Favreau’s 2019 live-action retooling of the studio’s 1994 animated classic.

As Head Honcho of Pride Rock and father to his reluctant future heir Simba, Mufasa ruled over the beasts of his land with a fair yet feared reign — but how did he arrive at this place of power? Using the latest computer-animated technology, Disney hopes to fill in the blanks of Mufasa’s youth, showing us the previously-unseen story of the cub who would be king.

Eager to find out more? Read on for all the key details surrounding Mufasa: The Lion King.


When will Mufasa: The Lion King be released?

Mufasa and young simba walk through the pride land.
Mufasa: The Lion King will recast Mufasa's voice. (Disney)

Mufasa: The Lion King is due for release on Friday, 20 December 2024 and will be directed by Moonlight’s Barry Jenkins, with composer Hans Zimmer returning to score the film.

It was previously scheduled to hit cinemas a few months earlier on Friday, 5 July but was delayed due to the Hollywood strikes.


Who is starring in Mufasa: The Lion King?

Rafiki holds Simba up into the air on Pride Rock, with Mufasa and Nala behind him.
Disney's original The Lion King was released in 1994. (Credit: Disney)

English stage actor Aaron Pierre will voice a young Mufasa, with Elvis actor Kelvin Harrison Jr. inheriting the role of his evil younger brother Scar.

Black Panther star John Kani will once again provide the voice of mystic baboon Rafiki following his appearance in Farveau’s movie.

Released in 2019, Favreau’s live-action reboot of The Lion King introduced us to a whole new voice cast who were brought on board to tell the a story that many Disney fans were already familiar with.

Aaron Pierre will voice the young Mufasa in the upcoming Disney prequel. (Araya Doheny/Getty Images)
Aaron Pierre will voice the young Mufasa in the upcoming Disney prequel. (Araya Doheny/Getty Images)

Leading the way were Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé as Nala, John Oliver as Zazu and Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen as Timon and Pumbaa respectively.

Legendary actor James Earl Jones returned to voice Mufasa after originally bringing the character to life in Disney’s animated original and while he’s not expected to return for this prequel follow-up, there are a few names from Farveau’s edition that are set to return.

While it’s not yet known whether Glover will return to voice Simba, the movie’s official synopsis indicates that his character will form part of the prequel’s storyline in some way.


What is the plot of Mufasa: The Lion King?

Scar and his hyenas look evil.
Kelvin Harrison Jr. will voice a young Scar. (Disney)

Like any good prequel, Mufasa: The Lion King promises to shed new light on the untold story of how a beloved and heroic character came to be.

To do this, Jenkins will bring us back to a time when Mufasa and Scar were young siblings, chronicling the events that helped to forge the characters they ultimately become.

As per the film’s synopsis, this may be told via Godfather Part II style flashbacks involving Mufasa’s son and current king of Pride Rock.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 30: Kelvin Harrison Jr attends the gala screening of Searchlight Pictures,
Kelvin Harrison Jr will voice young Scar in Mufasa. (John Phillips/Getty Images for Disney)

It reads: “Simba, having become king of the Pride Lands, is determined for his cub to follow in his paw prints while the origins of his late father Mufasa are explored.”

As revealed in footage shared at D23 in 2022, the film will reveal that Mufasa was an orphaned cub and contain stories about his life shared by Timon and Pumba.


Is there a trailer for Mufasa: The Lion King?

There’s no trailer available for Mufasa: The Lion King just yet. It must still be lost in the wilderness. As soon as it shows up, you’ll find it here.


Mufasa: The Lion King will be released in cinemas on Friday, 20 December, 2024.