By Ron Wynn

NASHVILLE, TN — Disney is tapped the talents of Beyonce Knowles for the production of “Black Is King.”  It’s based on the music from “The Lion King: The Gift,” and also stars many of the LPs top artists, plus some guest appearances.

The film was produced over a one-year period, and according to a statement from Disney productions, is designed to highlight and recognize the unity and value of Black families. The main story focuses on 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. 

The trailer features many stars who appear in the film. The cast includes Aweng Ade-Chuol and Adut Akech, Naomi Campbell, Tina Knowles-Lawson, Lupita Nyong’o, Kelly Rowland, Pharrell Williams and JAY-Z, among others. There are also contributions from directors  Emmanuel Adje, Blitz Bazawule, Pierre Debusscher, Jenn Nkiru, Ibra Ake, Dikayl Rimmasch, Jake Nava Kwasi Fordjour,  Dafe Oboro, Julian Klincewicz, Derek Milton, Meji Alabi, Joshua Kissi, Alexandre Moors and Deon Van Zyl.

Disney also announced an international distribution deal making the film available in several African nations. South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Namibia, Cameroon, Liberia, Burundi, Senegal, Togo, Somalia, Benin, Congo, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Gabon,  and Cape Verde were among those cited in a press release. MultiChoice Group’s M-Net and Canal+ Afrique are the African companies involved in the distribution deal.