The Lion King fans, here is some good news for you. The Lion King sequel, titled The Lion Guard, is set to premiere on your TV screens by the end of this year.
— B96 (@B96Chicago) August 13, 2015
According to Metro, Disney have confirmed that not only are they planning to launch a spin-off TV series based on our beloved movie The Lion King next year, but that a TV movie — featuring Simba and Nala’s son Kion — is reportedly in production, and if things go as planned, it could premiere on Disney Junior before the year is up.
Disney released a statement about the new movie.
“The movie follows Kion, the second-born cub of Simba and Nala, as he assumes the role of leader of the Lion Guard, a team of animals tasked with preserving the Pride Lands.”
While there have already been two sequels following the original film, The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar aspires to be a little different from earlier The Lion King sequels. Set in the breezy Pride Lands, it is the story of Kion — Simba’s second born — who is to become the leader of lion military. Whereas the earlier films were almost invariably aimed at adult and children audiences alike, it does seem that the latest The Lion King sequel is primarily aimed at young kids.
An extended sneak peek of the TV movie debuted at D23 this weekend, which sees Kion hang out with his pal Bunga, the honey badger.
Kion does seem quite like the young Simba, except he also rocks a red mohawk and a paw tattoo on his shoulder. As SlashFilm noted, however, Kion is clearly a more brave and experienced cub than Simba was in The Lion King, which in turn means the dynamic of his relationships with other characters is going to be a lot different.
Fan favorites James Earl Jones and Ernie Sabella return as Mufasa and Pumba respectively, while Rob Lowe and Gabrielle Union will play Simba and Nala, the latter replacing Moira Kelly from the earlier films. Max Charles (the younger Peter Parker from The Amazing Spider Man) plays the new lead, Kion, and his friend, Bunga, is played by Joshua Rush.
The Lion Guard joins the long list of sequels and spin offs the original 1994 Disney classic has inspired over the years — including direct-to-video sequels, a 90s cartoon series, and a long-running Broadway musical — and we can hope to indulge in a bit of nostalgia when this latest The Lion King sequel hits our TV screens later this year.