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Disney+ Debuts New Trailer for Beyoncé's Latest Visual Album

'Black Is King', streaming exclusively on Disney+ from July 31st

Disney+ Debuts New Trailer for Beyoncé's Latest Visual Album 'Black Is King', streaming exclusively on Disney+ from July 31st

Less than two weeks after its release on the platform, Disney+ has released the second trailer of Black Is King, the new visual album by Beyoncé. As seen from the trailer, the film, based on the music of The Lion King: The Gift (the album that Bey released together with the 2019 live action), will debut two weeks after the anniversary of The Lion King and hosts some of the most important black artists of the contemporary scene, including Naomi Campbell, Lupita Nyong'o, Kelly Rowland, Pharrell Williams and obviously JAY-Z.

Shot in various locations, the film was in production for a year and is signed by an impressive list of African American directors and assistant directors. Photography captures the beauty of people and landscapes across continents, from New York, Los Angeles, South Africa, West Africa, to London and Belgium. Simultaneously with the release of the trailer, a distribution agreement was announced that will make Black Is King available in much of the African continent, including South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Namibia, Cameroon, Liberia, Burundi, Senegal, Togo, Somalia, Benin, Congo, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Gabon, Cape Verde and many other countries, through M-Net and Canal+ Afrique, two broadcast services owned by MultiChoice Group, the leading company in Africa in the television and entertainment sector.

Announced on the occasion of the first anniversary of the release of the live action of The Lion King, in which Beyoncé had voiced the female protagonist and for which she had already recorded the two singles Spirit and Bigger, the visual album was born precisely during the making of the film and sees the collaboration of several African American artists including Childish Gambino (who had voiced Simba in live action) and Kendrick Lamar. It is a very personal project for the artist. Black Is King was written, directed and produced by Beyoncé herself, who confirmed the news on her official website and with a long post on her Instagram profile in which she explained not only why this album is important for her, but also for the whole black community: “Black Is King is a labor of love. More than a project, it was a passion of mine, a passion that I filmed, for which I documented myself and that I edited day and night for the whole past year. I gave it my all to make it happen and now it's yours."

"The events of 2020 have made the film’s vision and message even more relevant, as people across the world embark on a historic journey. We are all in search of safety and light. Many of us want change", Beyoncé continued, referring to the death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protest movements that recently crossed not only the United States but the entire world“Black Is King is a celebratory memoir for the world on the Black experience,” Disney added on an official statement; “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.” 

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#BlackIsKing (photo by: Travis Matthews)

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Beyoncé's first visual album, Lemonade, dates back to 2016 and was made in collaboration with HBO. For Disney+ it is an excellent opportunity to shake up its catalogue, that is now strong of the great classics but lacking original contents. The pandemic, moreover, has hit the company hard: despite the success of the platform, which in a few months has reached 50 million members worldwide, The Walt Disney Company recently declared 90% drop in net profits since the start of the pandemic. Beyoncé's visual album could be a good attempt to attract even more users; not surprisingly, the platform has just announced the elimination of the first week of free trial for new members.

Black Is King will debut worldwide on Disney + on July 31, 2020.