In a surprise, Disney Plus announced a new visual album from Beyoncé — “Black Is King,” inspired by “The Lion King” — is coming to the streaming service next month.
“Black Is King,” written, directed and executive produced by Beyoncé, will premiere globally on Disney Plus on July 31, 2020. It will drop just after the one-year anniversary of the release of Disney’s “The Lion King” reboot, in which Queen Bey voiced Nala.
A teaser trailer for “Black Is King” dropped Saturday night on beyonce.com.
The visual album is based on the music of “The Lion King: The Gift” and stars the album’s featured artists and some special guest appearances.
“‘Black Is King’ is a celebratory memoir for the world on the Black experience,” Disney and Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment said in announcing the film. “The film is a story for the ages that informs and rebuilds the present. A reunion of cultures and shared generational beliefs. A story of how the people left most broken have an extraordinary gift and a purposeful future.”
According to the companies, the visual album from Beyoncé reimagines the lessons of “The Lion King” for “today’s young kings and queens in search of their own crowns.” The film was in production for one year with a cast and crew that represent “diversity and connectivity,” according to Disney.
“Black Is King” pays tribute to voyages of Black families throughout time. The visual album tells the story of a young king’s “transcendent journey through betrayal, love and self-identity.” His ancestors help guide him toward his destiny, and with his father’s teachings and guidance from his childhood love, he earns the virtues needed to reclaim his home and throne.
“These timeless lessons are revealed and reflected through Black voices of today, now sitting in their own power,” according to the announcement. “‘Black Is King’ is an affirmation of a grand purpose, with lush visuals that celebrate Black resilience and culture. The film highlights the beauty of tradition and Black excellence.”
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