Black is King Disney

Disney+ teams up with Beyonce for new film

Produced by Parkwood Entertainment, Black is King launches on July 31, and will explore empowering themes from The Lion King.
July 20, 2020

Disney+ is joining the Beyhive (the name of Beyoncé’s fan community, for those who aren’t fans), teaming up with singer and actor Beyoncé Knowles-Carter on the new film Black is King. Based on the music of Knowles-Carter’s album The Lion King: The Gift, which she curated for the big-screen remake of The Lion King last year, the film explores lessons from the popular film franchise to empower young audiences.

Produced by Knowles-Carter’s Parkwood Entertainment for Disney+, the streamer will launch the film on July 31.To broaden its reach with audiences across Africa, Disney and Parkwood inked distribution deals for the film with local broadcasters M-Net and Canal+Afrique.

In production for a year, the filmwhich is being billed as “A celebratory memoir for the world on the Black experience”also features Black celebrities sharing words of encouragement to empower kids, including Pharell Williams, Jay-Z and Academy Award-winning actor Lupita Nyong’o.

Knowles-Carter has carved out a spot for herself in the House of Mouse, starring in the new version of The Lion King, which grossed around US$1.6 billion worldwide against a budget of US$260 million, and performing in The Disney Family Singalong earlier this year.

Looking at Disney+’s growing catalogue, the new film is a bit different from the unscripted shows and action-adventure Star Wars content the SVOD has been greenlighting recently. However, Black is King is part of a concerted effort to pick up more diverse programming, including Hamilton and a reboot of Disney Channel’s The Proud Family. Teaming up with Knowles-Carter also helps the streamer tap into the celebrity’s large audience, a strategy Disney+ saw the value in when it acquired Taylor Swift’s City of Lover concert movie.

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