'Mufasa: The Lion King' movie trailer debuts exclusively on 'GMA': Watch here

"GMA" spoke with director Barry Jenkins about the highly anticipated film.

ByCarson Blackwelder GMA logo
Tuesday, April 30, 2024
'Mufasa: The Lion King' trailer debuts exclusively on 'GMA'
'Mufasa: The Lion King' trailer debuts exclusively on 'GMA'

Get ready to roar, because "Good Morning America" has the exclusive trailer debut for Barry Jenkins' "Mufasa: The Lion King."

The first look at the highly anticipated film, which aired Monday on "GMA," features Aaron Pierre as the voice of Mufasa, the role previously voiced by James Earl Jones in previous "Lion King" movies.

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

We see sweeping shots of the recognizable savannah and all the creatures that call it home -- including giraffes, hippos, elephants, and, yes, lions -- but we are also introduced to an icy environment as well.

"Destiny awaits you," the voiceover says later in the clip, which ends with Mufasa taking a giant leap.

Jenkins told "GMA" he was drawn to the "powerful" script written by Jeff Nathanson and the chance to tackle something as culturally resonant as "The Lion King" universe.

The "If Beale Street Could Talk" director said he has an "intimate relationship" with the 1994 animated classic and felt there was "something kind of interesting to chase about what my aesthetic paired with this sort of entity ... would look like."

Jenkins said the film is about discovering more about Mufasa, a character we've known for 30 years, and "what made him that way" into the kingly figure he was.

"The journey of this film is kind of understanding how someone can build a family out of these very disparate parts," he said, adding that it's also about "how people who may be alone can find strength by coming together."

As for what else drew him to the project, Jenkins said it was watching the 1994 animated version after he moved in with his sister, a single mom, and helped her raise his two nephews.

"It's the first time you see children really process grief in a way that is very direct and blunt, and yet the film presents it in a way that they're made whole," he explained. "So it had this very special meaning for me. That was a really hard time for my sister and I, but this was something that was really beautiful."

Jenkins added, "I didn't create 'The Lion King.' It doesn't belong to me. And yet in telling the story, I got to add myself to it -- to whatever the mystique the magic of this thing is."

"GMA" also announced that joining Pierre in the voice cast are Kelvin Harrison Jr. as Taka, a lion prince with a bright future who accepts Mufasa into his family as a brother; Tiffany Boone as Sarabi; and Mads Mikkelsen as Kiros, a formidable lion with big plans for his pride.

Reprising their roles from the 2019 live action "Lion King" remake are John Kani as Rafiki, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, Billy Eichner as Timon, Donald Glover as Simba and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala.

Also joining the cast, "GMA" revealed, is Beyoncé's daughter Blue Ivy Carter as Kiara, the daughter of King Simba and Queen Nala.

Disney first announced plans for "Mufasa" in 2020 with Jenkins, whose film "Moonlight" won best picture at the 2017 Academy Awards, in the director's chair.

"GMA" also shared that the film features original songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda, with additional music and performances by Lebo M.

"The Lion King," released in 1994 and directed by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff, is one of Disney's most iconic animated films. It won two Oscars and spawned two direct-to-video sequels as well as a Broadway musical adaption still going strong today. The 2019 live-action remake from director Jon Favreau earned more than $1.6 billion at the worldwide box office, according to The Numbers.

"The Lion King," both the 1994 and 2019 versions, is currently available to stream on Disney+.

Watch "Mufasa: The Lion King" in theaters Dec. 20.

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