Aaron Pierre is set to voice a young Mufasa in the Berry Jenkins movie, while Kelvin Harrison Jr. will voice Taka, the original name of a pivotal character in the franchise.

Barry Jenkins' new Lion King movie has found its Mufasa and… Taka?

EW has confirmed that The Underground Railroad filmmaker will be reteaming with one of its breakout stars, Aaron Pierre, to voice a young version of Mufasa.

Lion King
Barry Jenkins' "Lion King" prequel casts Aaron Pierre, Kelvin Harrison Jr. in the lead roles.
| Credit: John Phillips/Getty Images; © 2019 Disney; Dominik Bindl/Getty Images

Voicing Taka will be Kelvin Harrison Jr. (Waves, The Trial of the Chicago 7). As for who that character actually is, dedicated fans of the franchise who happened to read the spin-off book The Lion King: Six New Adventures may remember that Taka is Scar's real name. 

While Mufasa is said to be "king" in Swahili, and Taka has a couple more positive translations like "want" and "desire," its most common translation from Swahili to English is "dirt," so Scar's resentment towards his family has likely been brewing since birth.

No word yet on other characters that will make an appearance in the prequel, or if it even covers how Taka gets his trademark scar, but writer Jeff Nathanson will be returning to script the photorealistic film.

Composer Hans Zimmer will also be returning to the project, but will be joined by Pharrell Williams and one of Jenkins' closest collaborators, Nicholas Britell.

The 2019 iteration of The Lion King, which was directed by Jon Favreau, and starred Donald Glover, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, raked in more than $1.6 billion worldwide despite the debate over whether it could be considered "live action."

When Jenkins signed on to make the follow-up prequel in 2020, he said via statement, "Having the opportunity to work with Disney on expanding this magnificent tale of friendship, love and legacy while furthering my work chronicling the lives and souls of folk within the African diaspora is a dream come true."

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