In a surprise about-face, Elton John is now casually shading the music in Disney’s 2019 live-action remake of The Lion King. John certainly knows a thing or two about the music for the movie considering he and Tim Rice composed all of the songs for the soundtrack to the 1994 animated version of the Disney classic, including the now-iconic “Circle of Life.”
John showed up to the premiere earlier this summer at the new live-action remake directed by Jon Favreau and starring Donald Glover and Beyonce (both Glover and Beyonce contributed their own musical talents to the remake’s soundtrack), showing his support for the project. Now, in a new interview with British GQ, the singer has changed his tune. Instead of support for the remake’s soundtrack, he’s deemed it “a huge disappointment,” remarking,
“The new version of The Lion King was a huge disappointment to me because I believe they messed the music up. Music was so much a part of the original and the music in the current film didn’t have the same impact. The magic and joy were lost. The soundtrack hasn’t had nearly the same impact in the charts that it had 25 years ago, when it was the bestselling album of the year. The new soundtrack fell out of the charts so quickly, despite the massive box-office success.”
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Incredible to think, David and I walked this same red carpet for the world premiere of the original Lion King 25 years ago – an epic film that changed my life forever. Disney have now reimagined that timeless classic with astonishing beauty and refreshed it for a whole new generation. It is magnificent. @lionking
Those are some sharp rebukes, especially when you remember Glover and Beyonce — two award-winning, extremely popular and talented musicians — are implicitly included in there. Even without naming names or making a specific call-out, John’s comments are shady.
The comments didn’t stop there. John continued, telling GQ he wished he’d been more involved:
“I wish I’d been invited to the party more, but the creative vision for the film and its music was different this time around and I wasn’t really welcomed or treated with the same level of respect. That makes me extremely sad. I’m so happy that the right spirit for the music lives on with the Lion King stage musical.”
Well, there you have it. Just a whole lot of very interesting things about a man who was deeply involved with the music for one version of The Lion King. I’ll just be here, waiting for Beyonce’s reply.
Check out our latest news on The Lion King live-action remake here.