- Hans Zimmer told Business Insider that Beyoncé didn’t hand in her song “Spirit” for “The Lion King” until the very last moment it could get in the movie.
- But Zimmer was so taken by the song that instead of placing it in the end credits, he convinced director Jon Favreau to put it in the middle of the movie.
- Zimmer said the placement of “Spirit” in the movie added to the Nala character, which Beyoncé also voiced in the movie.
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Beyoncé doesn’t just lend her voice to the Disney remake of “The Lion King,” as she plays lioness Nala, she also contributed her talents as a singer.
She cowrote and performed the original song for the movie, “Spirit,” which appears in the middle of the movie when Nala finally tracks down where Simba has been living since he ran away from the Pride Lands following the death of his father, Mufasa.
But it turns out through most of post production there was a big question mark if Beyoncé was going to deliver the song.
According to Hans Zimmer, who did the music for both the original (which garnered him an Oscar) as well as the remake, and produced the soundtrack for the remake, nothing came together until the eleventh hour.
Read more: Hans Zimmer was hesitant to revisit “The Lion King” score until playing the music at Coachella gave him a spark of inspiration
“All I knew was she was really committed to the song, there were constant rumors that she was working on something,” Zimmer told Business Insider. “And then she brought us the song and we thought it was really beautiful. It was supposed to be in the end titles but [director] Jon [Favreau] and I thought it would serve a lot better if it became part of the story and it gave us a chance to make the lion queen bigger. It was able to make the Nala character bigger in this one and let her motivate Simba’s return home.”
Zimmer said that’s where he saw the advantage of the photorealistic technology the movie used to tell the story. In a traditional movie, it would have been more challenging to place the song because there might not be enough coverage. But in this instance, it was easy to add what was needed.
“Jon just made a little more footage to make the song work,” Zimmer said.
But wouldn’t it have been less stressful for Zimmer if Beyoncé had gotten the song in quicker?
“Listen, my stuff always comes in not at the eleventh hour, but one second before midnight, so I can’t talk!” Zimmer said.
“The Lion King” is currently playing in theaters.
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