Beyoncé has assembled an incredible A-list cast of black stars and icons for her film, Black Is King, a visual album inspired by last year’s live-action version of The Lion King and due to premiere on Disney+ on 31st July.
Black is King “reimagines the lessons from the 2019 blockbuster for today’s young kings and queens in search of their own crowns” and is timed to premiere just after the one-year anniversary of last year’s Jon Favreau-helmed blockbuster.
Black is King features a cast of African American royalty, including her husband Jay-Z, Kelly Rowland and Pharrell, as well as Naomi Campbell, Lupita N’yongo and, of course, Beyoncé herself.
The unconventional, poetical film is written, executive-produced and co-directed by Beyoncé, who made it alongside Blitz Bazawule, and has been in production for a year. Beyoncé voiced Nala in last year’s The Lion King, and also produced The Gift, an album released in conjunction with the film.
The extraordinary shoot for Black is King roamed across the world to tell a tale based heavily on the black experience and locations included New York, Los Angeles, South Africa, West Africa, London and Belgium.
The film’s production company Parkwood Entertainment said: “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.”
A unique distribution deal will see it premiere on Disney+ but also be released simultaneously across the African Continent through MultiChoice Group’s M-Net and Canal+ Afrique, so countries from South Africa and Nigeria to Ethiopia and Senegal will get to see the powerful black message at the same time as the West.
Black is King includes full-length videos for the songs Already, Brown Skin Girl, Mood 4 Eva and My Power.
Black is King is available on Disney+ from 31st July. You can sign up to Disney+ for £59.99 a year and £5.99 a month.
If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV guide.