Barry Jenkins promises 'familiar faces' in Mufasa: The Lion King

Barry Jenkins promises 'familiar faces' in Mufasa: The Lion King

Barry Jenkins has teased that 'Mufasa: The Lion King' will have "a ton of familiar faces".

The 42-year-old director is helming the prequel to 'The Lion King' – which is slated for release in 2024 – and revealed that fans will get a glimpse into the past of the characters from the beloved film, which first hit screens in 1994 before a live-action remake was released in 2019.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Barry said: "I think you'll see a ton of familiar faces.

"It is a prequel, but again, it's a prequel in the sense that these are all the same characters, but we're telling you how they came to be who they are. So we're literally going backward. We're going back in time with many of these characters. We're in the present, as well, but we're also going back to tell who these characters were."

The 'Moonlight' director also promised fans that spectacular "musical numbers" will be featured in the film.

He said: "Please expect musical numbers. Really wonderful musical numbers, I'd say."

Barry praised screenwriter Jeff Nathanson for bringing the story of a young Mufasa, who will be voiced by Aaron Pierre, to life.

The filmmaker explained: "Mufasa is the king, the greatest king of the Pride Lands, and you assume he got that way just because he is.

"And I thought the studio and Jeff Nathanson, who wrote the script, did a great job of really exploring how people become great, how people become great, how people come to be these mythic figures we look up to."

Barry previously revealed that he was convinced to direct the prequel after reading the script.

He said: "I read the script and about 40 pages in, I turned to Lulu (Wang) and I said, 'Holy s***, this is good.'

"And as I kept reading, I got further away from the side of my brain that said, 'Oh, a filmmaker like you doesn't make a film like this,' and allowed myself to get to the place where these characters, this story, is amazing."