The official trailer for Beyoncé‘s visual album “Black Is King” has dropped and not only is it stunning, it also features some familiar faces.
The new project from Queen Bey and Disney debuts on the one-year anniversary of “The Lion King” remake’s release, in which Beyoncé lent her vocals for the voice of Simba’s mate Nala.
“Black Is King,” is based on music from “The Gift” and “reimagines the lessons from the 2019 blockbuster for today’s young kings and queens in search of their own crowns,” according to the film’s official description.
“Life is a set of choices. Lead or be led astray,” Beyoncé warns as quick glimpses of a young king growing up and finding himself while navigating a tough life flash through the official trailer.
Disney has previously said of the film: “The voyages of Black families, throughout time, are honored 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.”
At one minute and 22 seconds, the “Black Is King” trailer features some of Beyoncé’s famous friends and family, including Naomi Campbell dressed in white, rocking her signature long straight tresses, Mama Tina Knowles and Kelly Rowland enjoying themselves during a vibrant tea party, and Lupita Nyong’o striking a pose.
In a teaser trailer shared in June, Beyoncé referred to “Black Is King” as “a labor of love” and reflected what it’s been like spending the past year “filming, researching and editing day and night” to complete the “passion project.”
“I spent a lot of time exploring and absorbing the lessons of past generations and the rich history of different African customs,” she explained. “While working on this film, there were moments where I’ve felt overwhelmed, like many others on my creative team, but it was important to create a film that instills pride and knowledge.”
She also noted that the timing of the release amid the country’s current racially tense climate is not lost on her. “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 surprised fans on Juneteenth when she released a single titled “Black Parade,” and debuted an initiative of the same name that promotes Black businesses via a directory.
The visual album also comes on the heels of reports that Bey has signed a reported $100 million deal with Disney, in exchange for her involvement in three projects. One of those is reportedly the upcoming Black Panther sequel, “Black Panther 2.”
In addition to voicing a key character in the 2019 update to the classic story, the Grammy Award-winning artist also produced and curated the film’s accompanying soundtrack titled “The Lion King: The Gift.” The album, which married the styles of Black and African music and artists, received positive reviews from both critics and fans. The project included appearances by Jay-Z, Blue Ivy Carter, Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell, and Tierra Whack, as well as African artists including Burna Boy, Tekno, Wizkid, Shatta Wale, Mr Eazi, Tiwa Savage and Yemi Alade.
“Black Is King” streams exclusively on Disney+ starting July 31.