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Mufasa: The Lion King teaser trailer debuts exclusively on Good Morning America

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The teaser trailer for Barry Jenkins‘ Mufasa: The Lion King is ready to roar.

The first look at the highly anticipated film features Aaron Pierre as the voice of Mufasa, the role previously voiced by James Earl Jones in previous Lion King movies.

“This story begins far beyond the mountains and the shadows, on the other side of the light. A lion was born without a drop of nobility in his blood. A lion who would change our lives forever,” a voiceover says.

We see sweeping shots of the recognizable savannah and all the creatures that call it home — including giraffes, hippos, elephants, and, of course, lions.

“Destiny awaits you,” the voiceover says later in the clip, which ends with Mufasa taking a giant leap.

Jenkins told GMA he was drawn to the “powerful” script written by Jeff Nathanson and the chance to tackle something as culturally resonant as The Lion King universe.

The If Beale Street Could Talk director said it not only shows how Mufasa became the kingly figure he is, but also “how people who may be alone can find strength by coming together.”

Jenkins recalls watching the 1994 animated version after he moved in with his sister, a single mom; he helped her raise his two nephews.

“It’s the first time you see children really process grief in a way that is very direct and blunt, and yet the film presents it in a way that they’re made whole,” he explained. “So it had this very special meaning for me. That was a really hard time for my sister and I, but this was something that was really beautiful.”

Mufasa: The Lion King roars into theaters December 20.

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