After Beyoncé surprised us with her Homecoming Netflix documentary release, a teaser for her rendition of "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" hit it us all in the feels. And now, director Jon Favreau has just confirmed that Queen Bey is blessing us with new music through her cameo in the dangerously anticipated Lion King live-action film.
Ahead of the film’s July 19 release, Favreau spoke with Fandango on Monday (June 24) to talk casting Beyoncé as Nala and how the photo-realistic live-action remake came together behind the scenes. The film director dropped that Bey co-wrote and performed an original song specifically for the film. It’s also the only new song being included in the film.
He shared that she worked with South African producer and composer Lebohang "Lebo M." Morake alongside film composer Hans Zimmer to come up with a song that was all Beyoncé but still fit the theme of the film.
“We have all the original songs, but there's a song that she performed and wrote in the spirit of the production along with working with Lebo M., who's part of it with Hans Zimmer,” Favreau told the online publication. “They were all collaborating with her and helping to bring this new piece of music into a film where there's already a very established musical personality to the piece.”
There was no word on whether Bey's music will be on the official soundtrack, which Walt Disney Records also released the track list for this week. But, there's an unlabeled song marked “TBA” on the track list along with expected classics like "Circle of Life" and "Hakuna Matata," which could be Bey's song.
In case fans were concerned about how the film would handle Nala, Favreau said that Beyonce’s Nala will play a bigger role in the remake's storyline than she did in the original film.
“In the original film, her role is not as large as in the stage production, and we definitely drew inspiration, and that was one of the areas where we were going to expand this,” the director explained. “There's an opportunity to build upon especially the female characters of Sarabi played by Alfre Woodard and Nala played by Beyoncé that the stage play explores further. It has a lot more time to do so than the original film. That was an area that we could build upon the original.”
The soundtrack will hit streaming platforms on July 11, with a physical album dropping the same day the film hits theaters on July 19. Read Jon Favreau’s interview with Fandango in full here.
(Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS)