The self-directed film, which arrives two weeks after the one-year anniversary of Disney's The Lion King, is based on music from The Lion King: The Gift, and set to "reimagine the lessons from the 2019 blockbuster for today’s young kings and queens in search of their own crowns." In the new teaser, the pop titan owns the narration. "You were formed by the heat of the galaxy. What a thing to be, both unique and familiar, to be one and the same, and still unlike any other," she says as a young boy floats in space. "Life is a set of choices: Lead, or be led astray. Follow your light — or lose it."
The film features footage from various locations, including New York, Los Angeles, South Africa, West Africa, London and Belgium, and includes full-length music videos for the tracks, "Already," "Brown Skin Girl," "Mood 4 Eva" and "My Power." Its just-released trailer includes star-studded cameos from JAY-Z, Kelly Rowland, Naomi Campbell, Lupita Nyong'o, Tina Knowles-Lawson, Pharrell Williams, among many of the album's featured artists. Meanwhile, Black Is King is set to be available on 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 other nations.
In an Instagram post from late June, Bey explained that the film was originally set to be a companion piece to The Lion King: The Gift soundtrack. "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," she wrote at the time. "I believe that when Black people tell our own stories, we can shift the axis of the world and tell our REAL history of generational wealth and richness of soul that are not told in our history books."
"With this visual album, I wanted to present elements of Black history and African tradition, with a modern twist and a universal message, and what it truly means to find your self-identity and build a legacy," she continued. "My only goal is that you watch it with your family and that it gives you pride."
Black Is King is set to arrive on Disney+ on July 31.
Photo: YouTube/Walt Disney Studios