Mufasa: The Lion King Is The Wrong Story (& Disney Already Knows It)

Mufasa: The Lion King is by and large the wrong Lion King story for Disney to tell, and what’s weirder is that Disney should already be well aware of this. Mufasa largely exists as a means of kickstarting both the main plot of The Lion King and Simba’s character arc, so there could be some benefit to fleshing out his character more. Even so, there’s already a far more interesting route for a prequel story that Disney should be well aware of at this point.


At D23 2022, the previously-announced prequel to 2019’s The Lion King was given its official title of Mufasa: The Lion King. Set for a 2024 release with Barry Jenkins directing, the movie, as the title implies, will tell the story of Mufasa’s childhood and how he grew up to become king of Pride Rock. Exclusive footage at D23 revealed that Mufasa came to the Pride Lands after he was orphaned as a child in a flood, so it’s clear that the movie is going to do a lot to add to his original character.

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That being said, if there is going to be a Lion King prequel, then it would make far more sense for it to be about Scar, not Mufasa. Mufasa’s original character in Disney's The Lion King was defined as a paragon of virtue and justice, so for him to end up at that point by the end of Mufasa: The Lion King, he needs to unambiguously be the hero of the movie, which could easily make things boring to watch. A prequel about Scar, on the other hand, would avoid that problem by being about his rise to villainy, as that would allow for more twists on his character, including the possibility of adding a degree of sympathy to flesh out his character.

Disney Already Knows Scar Is The Better Character

Scar playing with a skull in The Lion King

Scar would be a far better character for a prequel story than Mufasa, and Disney already knows this with all the extra material focused on him. The 1994 book A Tale of Two Brothers famously gave The Lion King's Scar a backstory of feeling like his parents preferred Mufasa over him, including how they named him “Taka”, which means “trash” in Swahili. The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride also fleshed out Scar’s character with the ambiguous nature of his relationships with Kovu and Zira, and The Lion Guard even brought him back as the main villain of the show. The Lion King franchise has already done a lot to bring extra focus to Scar’s character, so it would have made sense to keep that going and have him be the one to get his own movie as opposed to Mufasa.

What little information that’s been given about Mufasa: The Lion King is already painting it as a very predictable story, which is why it would have made more sense for Scar to be the one with a prequel movie instead of The Lion King's Mufasa. Scar’s status as a villain leaves far more room for developing his character compared to Mufasa, and with how much he’s received additional focus in other installments of the franchise, Scar getting a movie seemed like it would be a natural conclusion. Mufasa: The Lion King can still end up doing a lot with Mufasa’s character, but at the end of the day, it’s hard to see this as the best story for Disney to tell.