Here's How Beyoncé's New Song 'Spirit' Wound Up In 'The Lion King'

Composer Hans Zimmer explains why it was almost the best thing we never had.

Can you feel the love ... for Beyoncé’s new song in “The Lion King”?

The recently released track, “Spirit,” which was mysteriously labeled TBA on a previously released list of songs for Disney’s photorealistic “Lion King” remake, will appear on the movie soundtrack as well as the companion album that Beyoncé executive produced, “The Lion King: The Gift.” And it already has fans predicting an Oscar win for Lion Queen Bey.

While many of the songs in the new movie are based on those in the original 1994 animated film, “Spirit” is a notable exception.

“At the last moment, she comes to the room and basically shows us a diamond and goes, ‘If you want it, you can have it,’” said Hans Zimmer, who composed the score for both films.

“She thought about it very long and very hard,” he told HuffPost, speaking of the effort Beyoncé put into making the track, which was written by her, IIya Salmanzadeh and Timothy McKenzie. “It’s really well crafted for the scene.”

Beyoncé was also a bit anxious when first presenting “Spirit,” according to Zimmer.

“Every musician has a habit of when they come into the room to play you something for the first time ... We’re all just a tiny little bit nervous how it lands,” he said. “Of course, everybody’s reaction — we absolutely adored it. It was absolutely perfect for the film.”

The Lion Queens, Nala and Beyoncé.
The Lion Queens, Nala and Beyoncé.
Disney/Kwaku Alston

As to where in the movie the song shows up, Zimmer didn’t want to spoil it for audiences. But apparently, that moment was almost the best thing we never had. “Spirit” wasn’t originally going to be performed within the body of the movie, but rather over the end credits, Zimmer said. Ultimately, he just couldn’t let that happen to the Queen.

“I suddenly thought, ‘No, no, no. This song is a gift. This song does a great bit of storytelling.’ ... I just thought, ‘Hang on. We should try this at this different spot as opposed to the end title.’ I think it will be, if it’s in the body of the movie and it’s over a crucial scene, I think it will have much more resonance and weight,” said Zimmer.

He added, “I know she got really excited about that, too, to be in the movie as opposed to that spot.”

The composer said that really any song that runs over the credits has a tough task, considering the movie’s ending note.

“As everybody knows, the movie stops with this rather loud, ostentatious Hans Zimmer drop hit. Boom! And what do you follow the big drop hit with? So putting the song inside the movie was a much better choice.”

“The Lion King” stampedes into theaters July 19.

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