MUFASA Director Barry Jenkins Responds To Criticism That He "Sold Out" By Helming Disney Prequel

MUFASA Director Barry Jenkins Responds To Criticism That He "Sold Out" By Helming Disney Prequel MUFASA Director Barry Jenkins Responds To Criticism That He "Sold Out" By Helming Disney Prequel

The fact that Moonlight director Barry Jenkins decided to take the helm of Disney's Mufasa: The Lion King has not sat very well with some people, and the filmmaker has now responded...

By MarkCassidy - Apr 30, 2024 10:04 AM EST
Filed Under: Disney

The first trailer for Mufasa: The Lion King was released online yesterday, and when director Barry Jenkins took to social media to share the teaser, he opened himself up for quite a bit of criticism.

There's a perception that Jenkins, who was nominated for an Academy Award for 2016's Moonlight before going on to helm the critically-acclaimed If Beale Street Could Talk, has "sold out" by directing Disney's The Lion King prequel, which is seen by many as little more than a soulless cash-grab.

One response stated that Jenkins was "too good and talented for this Iger's soulless machine," while another - from a guy who interviewed him when Moonlight premiered at TIFF - said the following:

"Come on man. I interviewed you when you premiered Moonlight at TIFF, and that Barry Jenkins wouldn’t have said what you just said. You can do a Disney movie for the check, in order to work on your passion projects at a later time, but you don’t have to shill like this."

Jenkins wasn't having any of it, and hit back with the following responses.

What do you make of the backlash Jenkins has received and the filmmaker's response? Drop us a comment down below.

Mufasa: The Lion King features Aaron Pierre as Mufasa, 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, Kagiso Lediga as Young Rafiki, Preston Nyman as Zazu, Mads Mikkelsen as Kiros, a formidable lion with big plans for his pride. Thandiwe Newton as Taka’s mother, Eshe, Lennie James as Taka’s father, Obasi, Anika Noni Rose as Mufasa’s mother, Afia, Keith David as Mufasa’s father, Masego, John Kani as Rafiki, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, Billy Eichner as Timon, Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala, and Introducing Blue Ivy Carter as Kiara, daughter of King Simba and Queen Nala.

“Mufasa: The Lion King enlists Rafiki to relay the legend of Mufasa to young lion cub Kiara, daughter of Simba and Nala, with Timon and Pumbaa lending their signature schtick. Told in flashbacks, the story introduces Mufasa as an orphaned cub, lost and alone until he meets a sympathetic lion named Taka—the heir to a royal bloodline. The chance meeting sets in motion an expansive journey of an extraordinary group of misfits searching for their destiny—their bonds will be tested as they work together to evade a threatening and deadly foe."

Mufasa roars into theaters on December 20.

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