While The Lion King remains insanely popular in the years since its 1994 debut, a new revelation might have just changed how some audiences view the iconic Disney story.
In a recent interview with HelloGiggles, The Lion King producer Don Hahn dropped a pretty significant bombshell about the film - Mufasa (James Earl Jones) and Scar (Jeremy Irons) aren't actually related by blood. According to Hahn, this was largely influenced by the way actual lions form bonds in the wild.
"[While making the movie] we talked about the fact that it was very likely [Scar and Mufasa] would not have both the same parents," Hahn explained. "The way lions operate in the wild, when the male lion gets old, another rogue lion comes and kills the head of the pride. What that does is it causes the female lions to go into heat [to reproduce], and then the new younger lion kills the king and then he kills all the babies. Now he's the new lion that's running the pride."
As Hahn explained, the onscreen dynamic between Mufasa and Scar resulted from that research about the way prides of lions operate.
"There was always this thing about well, how do you have these two [male] lions?" Hahn continued. "Occasionally there are prides that do have two male lions, in an interesting dynamic because they're not equals [since they don't have the same parents]. One lion will always kind of be off in the shadows. We were trying to use those animal truths to underpin the story so we sort of figured Scar and Mufasa couldn't really be from the same gene pool."
While this revelation might shock some Disney fans, Hahn assured that the real family tree - or lack thereof - is referenced within the film.
"In fact, that's what [Scar] says. There's a line, he goes, 'I'm from the shallow end of the gene pool.' When he's talking to Mufasa, when Mufasa gets mad at him for not coming up to the coronation of Simba."
It's currently unknown if this revelation will impact the upcoming live-action Lion King film, which will see James Earl Jones reprising his role alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor's Scar. But now that it's come to light, fans will certainly look at the Disney classic in a new way.