Black is King, the new Beyonce film, is dropping on Disney+ on July 31, 2020 after months and months of anticipation by both the Beyhive and super-fans of The Lion King. The film, which is based on the music of The Lion King: The Gift, the Lion King soundtrack that Beyonce herself created for the live-action remake of the classic Disney film. That album featured hits by the Disney cast and other famous figures like Beyonce’s own daughter, Blue Ivy Carter.
Black is King, however, won’t be a retelling of the famous Disney story. Instead, it’s a new original story set to the music of The Lion King: The Gift. The story, which is basically a visual album, still has a decent plot and heft to it. It follows Black families over time — from the beginning of the universe — and focuses specifically on one young Black king’s journey “through love, betrayal, love, and self-identity.” The film is, much like Lemonade, Beyonce’s award-winning visual album, a narrative that is told through music, fashion, dance. In a Good Morning America interview, Beyonce said that “‘Black is King’ means Black is regal and rich in history, in purpose and in lineage.”
The film was in production for over a year and filmed in a bunch of gorgeous, international locations. The Disney blurb about the film on their website suggests that the King of Black is King will be guided toward his destiny by his ancestors, will learn from his father, and will have these lessons revealed “and reflected through Black voices of today, now sitting in their own power… The film highlights the beauty of tradition and Black excellence.”
The teaser trailer for the film, which dropped on July 19, 2020, is gorgeous and reflects the year of work that has been put into the visual album. It’s stunning. The film, which releases on July 31, 2020, on Disney+, is sure to be beautiful.