Barry Jenkins has described 'The Lion King' prequel as a passion project.

Barry Jenkins can't wait to direct 'The Lion King' prequel

Barry Jenkins can't wait to direct 'The Lion King' prequel

The 42-year-old director is helming a prequel to the CGI remake of the classic Disney movie, which will tell the story of the origins of the character Mufasa, and admits the project is special as he grew up as a fan of the film.

Barry told Variety: "I grew up with these characters, they mean so much to me.

"I think the work that Jeff Nathanson, the writer, did and going back into really helping children and anyone who ever loved this property understand what it takes. Kings aren't just born, they aren't just made. They have to become who they are through a series of events that a lot of people can relate to.

"So, in that standpoint, it fits very well with everything else I've done. So I feel no pressure, I just want to do a good job."

The 'Moonlight' filmmaker previously revealed that he made the decision to helm the family flick after being blown away by the quality of Nathanson's script.

Barry recalled: "I read the script and about 40 pages in, I turned to Lulu (Wang) and I said, 'Holy s***, this is good.'

"And as I kept reading, I got further away from the side of my brain that said, 'Oh, a filmmaker like you doesn't make a film like this,' and allowed myself to get to the place where these characters, this story, is amazing."

Jenkins also revealed that he was prepared to make a dramatic shift from his previous movies to helm the project.

He explained: "What really pushed me across the line was James (Laxton), my DP, said, 'You know what? There's something really interesting in this mode of filmmaking that we haven't done and that not many people have done.'

"That was when I went back to the powers that be and said, 'I would love to do this, but I've got to be able to do what I do.' And they said yes!"