Announced in June, Black Is King is an intellectual property Turducken. It’s a reimagining of Disney’s live-action remake of The Lion King, which incorporates music from Beyoncé’s companion album, The Lion King: The Gift. The plot-to-music ratio isn’t clear at this time, but the new teaser is a star-studded affair, featuring appearances by JAY-Z, Kelly Rowland, Naomi Campbell, and Tina Knowles-Lawson. Nyong’o and Pharrell Williams will also appear in the film, according to a press release.
The film was shot in Los Angeles, New York City, London, the country of South Africa, the region of Western Africa, and Belgium. Bey served as executive producer, working alongside directors Emmanuel Adjei, Blitz Bazawule, Pierre Debusschere, Ibra Ake, Dikayl Rimmasch, Jake Nava, and Kwasi Fordjour.
Black Is King will stream on Disney Plus beginning July 31st (sign up here). Disney has also announced a distribution deal that will make the visual album available to much of the African continent, including South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Namibia, Cameroon, Liberia, Burundi, Senegal, Togo, and more. This is significant for Queen Bey, who has often drawn inspiration from Africa, but who has been criticized for never performing there. Check out the new trailer and a poster below, and revisit the first trailer now.
Last month, Beyoncé celebrated Juneteenth with the new song “Black Parade”, which she later reworked in an a cappella version. Bey also recently launched an initiative to support Black small businesses.