Beyoncé has shared a powerful trailer for her upcoming visual album Black Is King with Disney Plus, set for global release on July 31.
The musician, 38, who is said to have signed a $100 million (£80 million) to work on three new projects with the network, makes a grand appearance alongside her husband Jay Z, her former Destiny’s Child bandmate Kelly Rowland and her kids Blue, eight, and twins Rumi and Sir, three, in the film which champions ‘black excellence’ and serves as a ‘celebratory memoir for the world on the black experience’.
Black Is King is based on the soundtrack she produced for the 2019 animated remake of The Lion King and follows the story of a young king’s ‘transcendent journey through betrayal, love and self-identity’ in light of the Black Lives Matter movement, which was galvanized following the death of George Floyd.
Making a statement: Beyoncé has shared a powerful trailer for her upcoming visual album Black Is King with Disney Plus, set for global release on July 31
The mother-of-three kicks off the trailer by stating ‘the journey is a gift’ while sitting confidently on a horse in shades of brown and white.
Hand-in-hand, Beyoncé and music mogul Jay Z, 50, real name Shawn Carter, later approach a Renaissance-inspired portrait, which displays twins Sir and Rumi as cherubs.
Another scene shows the media personality gazing lovingly at a baby, who many online have speculated could be a younger Sir.
While her Lion King: The Gift track Already plays in the background, the Halo hitmaker says: ‘The answers have never left you… you can’t wear a crown with your head down’, before rapper Jay adds: ‘Nothing is complete on its own.’
Star-studded: The musician, 38, makes a grand appearance alongside her husband Jay Z (pictured looking at a painting of Beyoncé and their twins Sir and Rumi, three, as cherubs)
Maternal instinct: One images shows the chart-topping songstress gazes lovingly at a baby, which many online have speculated could be one of her twins, Sir
A-list appearances: Her former Destiny’s Child bandmate Kelly Rowland takes centre stage in one artistic scene (pictured), while the singer (third from left) and her daughter (second from left) pose in dramatic Marie Antoinette-inspired clothing
Powerful: Black Is King champions ‘black excellence’ and serves as a ‘celebratory memoir for the world on the black experience
The Houston native commands attention in a series of elaborate ensembles as she shows off her incredible dance moves and reads a book titled Black Gods and Kings.
Beyonce’s cousin and longtime friend Kelly, 39, takes centre stage in satin lingerie for another artistic scene, while the leading lady and her daughter Blue pose in dramatic Marie Antoinette-inspired clothing.
The one-minute teaser closes with a young boy hurtling towards a planet in the story ‘of how the people left most broken have an extraordinary gift and a purposeful future.’
Marking 12 months after the release of The Lion King adaptation, in which Beyoncé voiced Nala and hailed the project ‘a love letter to Africa’, the movie was in production for one year with a team which represents ‘diversity and connectivity’, and has reworked messages from the famous film, which follows an exiled Simba’s journey to his rightful throne following the death of his father Mufasa.
A vision: The mother-of-three kicks off the trailer by stating ‘the journey is a gift’ while sitting confidently on a horse in shades of brown and white
Uplifting: While her Lion King: The Gift track Already plays in the background, the Halo hitmaker says: ‘The answers have never left you… you can’t wear a crown with your head down’
Knowledge: The Houston native sports kooky dark shades as she reads a book titled Black Gods and Kings
Incredible: The Baby Boy hitmaker commands attention in a series of elaborate ensembles, with one showing her wearing a bedazzled cape gown on a beach
Captivating: The businesswoman shows off her incredible dance moves as she rocks versatile hair ‘dos and head-turning numbers
The album features Pharrell, Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar, 070 Shake, Tierra Whack, Jay-Z, Jessie Reyez, and her daughter Blue, as well as the African artists she collaborated with last year on The Lion King: The Gift, including Shatta Wale, Burna Boy, Mr Eazi, Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Tekno, Yemi Alade, Busiswa and Salatiel.
On the film, Disney Plus and Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment said in a statement: ‘Black Is King is a celebratory memoir for the world on the Black experience. The film is a story for the ages that informs and rebuilds the present. A reunion of cultures and shared generational beliefs.
‘Beyonce reimagines the lessons of The Lion King for today’s young kings and queens in search of their own crowns.
‘The voyages of Black families, throughout time, are honoured 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. ‘
Inspiration: The story follows the story of a young king’s ‘transcendent journey through betrayal, love and self-identity’ in light of the Black Lives Matter movement, which was galvanized following the death of George Floyd
Working it: High-octane performances in the forthcoming project are set to thrill excited viewers
Following in its footsteps: The movie was in production for one year and has reworked messages from the original Lion King
Strong message: Shirtless men are seen posing for a group picture
Vibrant: Dancers dressed in zebra print run across monochrome patterned interior
‘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.’
Calls for change regarding police brutality towards black people, diversity in workplaces and representation in the media have been heavily discussed following the death of an unarmed African-American man at the hands of police last month.
George, 46, died on May 25 after white officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Derek was taken into custody and charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, officials said.
Spin-off? The Lion King follows an exiled Simba’s journey to his rightful throne following the death of his father Mufasa (pictured Nala, voiced by Beyoncé, and Simba, voiced by Donald Glover)
Continuation: The film will be released one year after The Lion King adaptation, which the hitmaker (pictured at the London premiere) hailed the project ‘a love letter to Africa
Floyd’s murder has ignited mass unrest across the world in recent weeks, with the Black Lives Matter movement, which was first founded in 2013 following the acquittal of George Zimmerman and was nationally recognized for its involvement in the Ferguson protests in 2014, advocating ‘justice, healing, and freedom to Black people’ through peaceful protests, campaigns and educational programmes.
Beyoncé and Jay-Z, who have been vocal about their support of BLM, recently dropped a surprise track Black Parade on Juneteenth in an effort to highlight black empowerment.
During YouTube’s star-studded Class of 2020, the songwriter inspired viewers with a message about sparking change, stating: ‘You are achieving things your parents and grandparents never could imagine for themselves. You are the answer to a generation of prayers.
Calling for change: Police officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter after he crushed the unarmed black man’s neck with his knee in Minneapolis on May 25 (George pictured)
‘Thank you for using your collective voice and letting the worlds know that Black lives matter. The killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many others have left us all broken. It has left the entire country searching for answers.
‘We’ve seen that our collective hearts, when put to positive action, could start the wheels of change, Real change has started with you, this new generation of high school and college graduates who we celebrate today.’
Beyoncé, who rose to fame in late Nineties’ group Destiny’s Child, reflected on her career in the entertainment industry, which she describes as ‘still very sexist’ and ‘not diverse’.
She said: ‘It’s still very male-dominated, and as a woman, I did not see enough female role models given the opportunity to do what I knew I had to do,’ she pointed out. ‘To run my label and management company, to direct my films and produce my tours, that meant ownership, owning my masters, owning my art, owning my future and writing my own story.’
‘I’m sitting here in tears because you are so proud to be black’: Fans across the globe shared their delight over the media personality’s trailer
‘Not enough black women had a seat at the table, so I had to go and chop down that wood and build my own table.
‘Your queerness is beautiful, your blackness is beautiful your compassion, your understanding, your fight for people, who may be different than you, is beautiful.’
Beyoncé is said to be close to agreeing to a massive deal with Disney Plus to work on three new projects, according to The Sun.
An insider claimed one of the first collaborations will be the soundtrack for Black Panther 2, which is expected to hit theatres next year.
Black Lives Matter: Calls for change regarding police brutality towards black people, diversity in workplaces and representation in the media have been heavily discussed (protest in St. Louis, Missouri pictured earlier this month)
Impressive: The songstress pulls out all the stops when it comes to her music project (Beyoncé pictured alongside her daughter Blue in a still from her video for The Lion King: The Gift track Spirit)
The source told the publication: ‘Disney have put forward a deal worth around £80million, which will secure Beyonce for three major projects, including the Black Panther sequel. Beyonce has become a major player for Disney and is the perfect fit for their brand.
‘She’s worked on a number of projects for them, including voicing Nala in the reboot of The Lion King, and now they’re keen to secure her for more projects. As part of the deal they are also trying to get her team to agree to have Beyonce voicing some of the new documentaries coming to Disney Plus.
‘After the success of having Meghan Markle voicing the film Elephant on the platform, they have projects coming up which align perfectly with Beyoncé’s brand. The negotiations are still ongoing but it’s the final details that are being thrashed out now.’ MailOnline contacted a representative for Beyoncé at the time of publication.
The Summer singer first worked for Disney in 2007 with their Alice In Wonderland as part of the Disney Dream Portrait series.