John says, “Music was so much a part of the original, and the music in the current film didn’t have the same impact. … The soundtrack hasn’t had nearly the same impact in the charts that it had 25 years ago when it was the best-selling album of the year.”
Songs from the original film included in the latest soundtrack received a touch-up, with stars Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, and Beyoncé re-recording hits “Circle of Life” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.”
John and lyricist Tim Rice’s work on the original soundtrack led to an Oscar win for “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” the heart of a soundtrack that lives on through the Lion King stage musical. That level of input fell short this time around for John, who says he wasn’t granted the same degree of respect and involvement. The songwriting duo’s only contribution to the remake, a new song titled “Never Too Late,” doesn’t appear until the movie’s end credits.
“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.”