A young Mufasa stands in the desert plains in the trailer for 'Mufasa: The Lion King'

It’s Official: Blue Ivy Carter is Making Her Disney Debut in ‘Mufasa: The Lion King’

Talk about a stacked cast.

Walt Disney Studios just released the first trailer for its The Lion King prequel film, Mufasa: The Lion King. And in typical Disney fashion, it’s got an absolutely stacked cast. Here are all actors confirmed to star, including not one, but two members of the Knowles-Carter family.

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What is Mufasa: The Lion King about?

Mufasa: The Lion King has been in the works for quite some time, with Disney announcing plans for the project all the way back in 2020. Of course, we’re all too familiar with how the pandemic mucked up studios’ release slates, but at long last, the Mouse House finally rolled out a first look at the musical at the recent CinemaCon. Now, a full-length trailer has been released to the general public, teasing its story, characters, and brand new songs—including some oh-so-familiar ones.

According to the official synopsis, Mufasa: The Lion King will see Simba all grown-up, taking Disney fanatics on a nostalgia-fueled trip down memory lane. “Simba, having become king of the Pride Lands,” it reads, “is determined for his cub to follow in his paw prints while the origins of his late father Mufasa are explored.” The film will also supposedly explore Mufasa’s troubled relationship with his brother, Taka (a.k.a. Scar), who’s undoubtedly traumatized thousands of young minds over the years.

Amid a slew of eye-rollingly forgettable live-action Disney remakes, Mufasa: The Lion King actually seems … promising? While it’s hard to say if the movie will fall victim to many of the same issues its predecessor, Jon Favreau’s 2019 The Lion King, suffered from, its talent both in front of and behind the camera (on top of some stunning visuals) suggest that it could actually be a standout among the rest, and a much-needed win for Disney after a sluggish 2023 at the box office.

Moonlight director Barry Jenkins has been attached to the project since its announcement in 2020, taking the reins from Favreau for the next chapter (or rather, first) in Mufasa’s story before he becomes the King of Pride Rock. Oh, and Lin-Manuel Miranda is penning some original songs. Jumpscare! Still, viewers can expect to see some familiar names in the credits, including some Hollywood heavy-hitters from 2019’s live-action Lion King reboot.

Everyone confirmed to star in Mufasa: The Lion King so far

Per IMBd, Aaron Pierre will voice a younger version of Mufasa in the upcoming prequel, taking over the role from James Earl Jones. Kelvin Harrison Jr. lends his his voice to the villainous Scar, while Donald Glover is set to reprise his role as Simba.

Glover is far from the only familiar face to appear in the Mufasa: The Lion King cast, as many A-listers are returning to the franchise for the new installment. Beyoncé Knowles-Carter will once again bless our ears as Nala, along with John Kani as Rafiki, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, and Billy Eichner as Timon.

As for our newcomers, Disney certainly didn’t disappoint. Mads Mikkelsen will round out the cast as Kiros, alongside Thandiwe Newton, who voices Taka’s mother, Eshe. Lennie James also stars as Obasi, along with Tiffany Boone as Sarabi, Kagiso Lediga as young Rafiki, and Preston Nyman as Zazu.

But perhaps most buzz-worthy of all is the addition of baby Beyoncé herself, Blue Ivy Carter, who will make her official Disney debut as Kiara, the daughter of King Samba and Queen Nala, in the film. Fitting, no? This casting couldn’t be more perfect, and is quite the impressive kickstart to her acting career.

With a star-studded cast and an Academy Award-winning director at the helm, the odds seem ever in Mufasa: The Lion King‘s favor—helped by a little Beyoncé magic. Plus, whether you love him or hate him, Lin-Manuel Miranda knows how to make a damn catchy song, meaning this could be a musical event for the ages if Disney plays it cards right. For now, only time will tell if the movie can recapture the same magic as the animated original.

Mufasa: The Lion King opens in theaters on December 20, 2024.

(featured image: Disney)


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Author
Amanda Landwehr
Amanda is a Los Angeles-based entertainment writer who lives and breathes Star Wars, Marvel, and all things pop culture. She has worked in digital media since 2021, covering the latest movie/TV releases, casting updates, fan theories, and so, so much more. When she's not rotting away behind her laptop screen, you can typically catch Amanda maxing out her AMC Stubs membership.