‘Black Is King’: Beyoncé’s ‘Lion King’ Retelling Comes to Life in New Disney+ Trailer

     July 19, 2020


Disney+ has released a new (and somehow even more stunning) trailer for Black Is King. The visual album comes from Beyoncé, who wrote, directed, and executive produced. Black Is King is based on the music of her album The Lion King: The Gift, made for 2019’s live-action The Lion King which she co-starred in alongside Donald GloverChiwetel EjioforSeth RogenBilly EichnerJohn Oliver, and Alfre Woodard.


Image via Disney+

The newest trailer for Black Is King comes jam-packed with gorgeous visuals. This should come as no surprise as Beyoncé’s aesthetic has been fine-tuned in recent years to pack as powerful a punch as possible while rightfully centering Blackness as high art. More apparent in this trailer is how Beyoncé has adapted the Lion King story to her own creative eye. Familiar lines from The Lion King ring out as we watch a young boy become a man as he travels far from his birthplace and into the unknown world. The trailer also reveals some of the famous faces recruited for the Black Is King cast, including Beyoncé’s husband, Jay-Z, and mother, Tina Knowles-Lawson, as well as Lupita Nyong’oNaomi Campbell, and Kelly Rowland.

With the arrival of this trailer comes exciting information about the release plans for Black Is King. In addition to its Disney+ debut, Black Is King will be made available across the African Continent. This distribution deal means Beyoncé’s visual album will be released in South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Namibia, Cameroon, Liberia, Burundi, Senegal, Togo, Somalia, Benin, Congo, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Gabon, Cape Verde, and other countries through MultiChoice Group’s M-Net and Canal+ Afrique.

The team behind Black Is King extends far beyond Beyoncé. With the Grammy-winning singer at the helm, the one-year shoot enlisted the talents of Dafe Oboro, Julian Klincewicz, Derek Milton, Meji Alabi, Joshua Kissi, Alexandre Moors, and Deon Van Zyl as co-directors and second unit directors. Filming locations for this epic visual album include New York, then Los Angeles, South Africa, West Africa, London, and Belgium.

Black Is King debuts on Disney+ on July 31. Watch the gorgeous new trailer below. Get even more Disney+ updates right here.

Allie Gemmill is the Weekend Contributing Editor for Collider. You can follow them on Twitter @_matineeidle.

Here’s the official synopsis for Black Is King, plus the official poster:

This 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.


The voyages of Black families, throughout time, are honored in a tale about 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. 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.


Image via Disney+

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