What happens when Hollywood’s intellectual property king meets Queen Bey?
That’s the question worldwide fans and Hollywood insiders are mulling with anticipation, as Beyoncé’s latest visual album, “Black Is King,” prepares to debut July 31 on Disney Plus. The top-secret project from the superstar entertainer was announced less than a month ago, and promises to be a bold visual celebration of Black culture through the ages, as well as a splashy streaming event amid a drought of content caused by coronavirus lockdowns.
“Black Is King” is a feature film composed of music videos for songs from “The Gift,” an album Beyoncé executive produced as a companion to the 2019 live-action remake of “The Lion King,” for which she voiced the lead female role. It’s an adaptive process she knows well, having delivered the Peabody Award-winning 2017 album “Lemonade” as both a record and a stacked video compilation, strung together by her own narration. With “Black Is King,” however, Beyoncé is not only drawing from her experience as an established artist and a woman of color. She’s putting her own spin on the billion-dollar IP behind “The Lion King.”
That Disney Plus would be home to such a broad interpretation of its wares isn’t surprising. Yet, if teaser trailers and promotional images are any indication, Beyoncé is pushing the boundaries of what many have come to expect from the Disney machine.
“Beyoncé is a great get for anyone, but this signals to me