Beyoncé surprised fans yesterday when she dropped a trailer for her new visual album Black Is King, which is coming to Disney+ in July. Here’s everything we know about the film so far.
Since Disney+ first arrived in the UK on 24 March, we’ve been treated to a load of great content. Besides all the classic films which are now available to watch on demand (Monsters Inc, we’re looking at you), there’s also some great original content to delve into, including Elephants, a nature documentary narrated by Meghan Markle. There’s also the upcoming Hamilton film to get excited about, too.
But that’s not all we’ve got to look forward to in July. In an announcement made yesterday, Beyoncé surprised fans with the trailer for her new Disney+ film Black Is King, which is set to arrive on the platform at the end of next month (31 July).
The trailer, which dropped last night on the star’s official website, opens with a group of black men huddled together. Throughout the one minute teaser, we see shots of Beyoncé, her husband Jay Z and their children Blue Ivy, Rumi and Sir alongside scenes featuring various dancers and performers.
Although the trailer doesn’t give a lot away, we do have some idea of what the film – which is billed as a “visual album” and has been written, directed and executive produced by the star – might contain. So without further ado, here’s everything we know about Beyoncé’s Black Is King so far.
What is Black Is King about?
Black Is King is based on the music of The Lion King: The Gift, the album Beyoncé produced in conjunction with last year’s The Lion King remake, in which she voiced the character of Nala (the film is currently available to watch on Disney+).
Some of the stars of the album, which featured the likes of Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell and Jay Z alongside African artists such as Shatta Wale, Yemi Alade and Busiswa, are said to make an appearance in the film.
South African actors, dancers and performers Connie Chiume, Nandi Madida, Nyaniso Dzedze and Warren Masemola also appear in the trailer.
In a statement from Disney and Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment to mark the announcement of the film, Black Is King is described as “a celebratory memoir for the world on the Black experience” which reimagines lessons from The Lion King “for today’s young kings and queens in search of their own crowns”.
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“These timeless lessons are revealed and reflected through Black voices of today, now sitting in their own power,” the statement reads. “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.”
The statement adds: “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.”
Is there a trailer for Beyoncé’s Black Is King?
Yes! Beyoncé released a surprise trailer for Black Is King on 27 June to announce the film’s upcoming release.
The trailer, which is narrated by Beyoncé herself, gives fans a glimpse into what they might expect from the “visual album”.
“A journey is a gift,” Beyoncé says as the trailer opens. “The ancestors never left you.”
You can watch the Black Is King trailer for yourself below:
How have people reacted to the Black Is King announcement?
Since the trailer was posted, people have been taking to Twitter to share their excitement at the news, with many fans sharing their delight that the music from The Gift is being visualised in such a beautiful way.
“Beyoncé made a visual movie for the album The Gift and it’s going to show black people being beautifully black. YALL,” one person wrote.
“So we are finally getting Water and Already visuals and I’m sure the choreography is going to be everything,” added another. “The Gift album is finally getting the treatment it deserves.”
And American Singer Tamar Braxton added: “Thank you @Beyonce. I’m sitting here in tears because you are so proud to be black. I appreciate you for not playing it ‘safe’ but reminding people who may have forgotten that we are strong. Our AFRICAN ANCESTORS made us that way and THIS is OUR Birthright.”
When and where can you watch Black Is King?
Black Is King will premiere globally on Disney+ on 31 July.
As Stylist’s digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and women’s issues. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time. You can find her on Twitter at @laurenjanegeall.