When it came to making the new Lion King movie, its creators knew that recapturing the musical magic of the animated movie was important. So, they brought on some familiar faces who worked on the original film, including Hans Zimmer and Elton John. The way John sees it, though, that wasn’t enough: In a new interview with GQ, he says that the remake and its Beyonce-led soundtrack were “a huge disappointment” to him.
When asked if he had seen the new film, he said he wasn’t keen on it, primarily because of the music, and that he wishes he was more involved:
“The new version of The Lion King was a huge disappointment to me, because I believe they messed the music up. Music was so much a part of the original and the music in the current film didn’t have the same impact. The magic and joy were lost. The soundtrack hasn’t had nearly the same impact in the charts that it had 25 years ago, when it was the bestselling album of the year. The new soundtrack fell out of the charts so quickly, despite the massive box-office success. I wish I’d been invited to the party more, but the creative vision for the film and its music was different this time around and I wasn’t really welcomed or treated with the same level of respect. That makes me extremely sad. I’m so happy that the right spirit for the music lives on with the Lion King stage musical.”
The new Lion King soundtrack features performances from Beyonce, Donald Glover, Billie Eichner, Seth Rogen, and John himself. Aside from the soundtrack, Beyonce also curated an album inspired by the film, The Lion King: The Gift.
Also in the interview, John declared that the only “real star” today is Lady Gaga, saying, “The only real star at the moment is Lady Gaga. She could have a career like Barbra Streisand if she wanted to. She’s got the ambition, she’s got the talent coming out of every pore of her body, so it’s up to her whether she wants it and I think she does want it.”
Read the full interview here.