The Lion King prequel has added Waves star Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Underground Railroad actor Aaron Pierre to its cast. The two actors will join Moonlight director Barry Jenkins, who was tapped to lead the project months ago. Together, the trio will bring Mufasa’s origin story to the big screen. Pierre will play the lead role while Harrison Jr. plays the role of Taka.
"Simba, having become king of the Pride Lands, is determined for his cub follow in his footsteps while the origins of his late father Mufasa are explored," the logline from IMDb reads.
Pierre has been breaking his way into film and television for the last five years. He has appeared in several television series like The A Word and Prime Suspect 1973. More recently, he has worked on M. Night Shyamalan's Old and Underground Railroad with Jenkins. Meanwhile, Kelvin Harrison Jr. has worked his way up in television and film since 2013. Along the way, he's taken smaller roles in 12 Years A Slave, Roots and Mudbound before taking lead roles in Waves. In addition to starring in The Lion King prequel, Harrison Jr. will also star as B.B. King in an upcoming Elvis Presley biopic.
Harrison Jr. and Pierre will help take the new generation of The Lion Kin franchise to new heights. The Disney franchise picked back up in 2019 with the help of Beyoncé Knowles, Donald Glover, John Oliver, Seth Rogen and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Knowles also helped put together a soundtrack that featured Glover, Kendrick Lamar, Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter and several other A-list music stars. The film picked up $543 million in the United States and more than $1 billion outside of the U.S.
With major shoes to fill, Jackson, Harrison and Pierre appear to be up the challenge. Production has already begun, but there is no release date yet.