Beyoncé and Blue Ivy Perfectly Paired for ‘ Lion King’ Prequel

Barry Jenkins will be directing the upcoming entry into the Disney franchise.

05.01.24
Beyoncé and Blue Ivy Perfectly Paired for ‘ Lion King’ Prequel (Getty Images)

California; HaywardWorking together again, Blue Ivy Carter, 12,  and her mother Beyoncé are set to voice characters in the upcoming "Mufasa: The Lion King."

Director Barry Jenkins told  PEOPLE the significance of having a mother-daughter duo collaborate on-screen, highlighting the impact of their shared scenes was enchanting

Beyoncé, reprising her role as Queen Nala, stars alongside Blue Ivy, who voices the character's daughter Kiara.

The involvement of Beyoncé and Blue Ivy began early in the film's production, long before Beyoncé's “Renaissance” album release, reflecting the extensive process of bringing "Mufasa" to life. Jenkins noted Blue Ivy's growth during Beyoncé's Renaissance tour, making the film a snapshot of their lives at that moment. The return of Beyoncé to the Lion King universe, alongside other stars from the 2019 remake, was crucial to Jenkins and his team, emphasizing her embodiment of Nala and her commitment to the project.

Beyoncé's visual album "Black Is King," inspired by the previous Lion King movie, underscores her connection to African culture, according to Jenkins. He appreciates her portrayal both on and off-screen, particularly as a mother. Blue Ivy's voice resonated with Jenkins for the role of Kiara, reminiscent of her work on the audiobook recording of "Hair Love."

Jenkins also highlighted the importance of the leads, Aaron Pierre and Kelvin Harrison Jr., in their roles as Mufasa and Taka (Scar), respectively. He emphasized their understanding of the rich and complex characters they portrayed, as well as their contribution to audience discovery.

"Mufasa" features a star-studded cast including Thandiwe Newton, Mads Mikkelsen, Keith David, and Anika Noni Rose. Jenkins clarified that Rose's casting was not intentionally a "Dreamgirls" reunion with Beyoncé, but rather a reunion with Keith David, her co-star from "The Princess and the Frog." Rose and David, portraying Mufasa's parents Afia and Masego, carry pivotal moments in the film.

Jenkins remained tight-lipped about composer Lin-Manuel Miranda's original songs for the movie, which complement the iconic tunes from the 1994 animated original. He emphasized Miranda's ability to elevate the story through music.

As for Beyoncé's musical contributions, Jenkins humorously refrained from divulging any details to avoid getting into trouble, emphasizing the secrecy surrounding the songs.

"Mufasa: The Lion King" is set to hit theaters on Dec. 20, promising to be a memorable cinematic experience with its talented cast and emotionally resonant storytelling.

Noumaan Faiz, (he/him) is a journalist and entertainer from Hayward, CA who covers culture and entertainment.

Edited by Nykeya Woods

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