Getty Images

Janelle Monae's Wondaland Pictures Inks Production Deal With Universal

Ms. Monae is now a quadruple threat.

On Monday (Nov. 19), Deadline reported that Dirty Computer singer Janelle Monae's Wondaland Pictures secured a deal with Universal Pictures for a first-look production deal. With the new deal, both parties hope to give a platform to underrepresented voices and brand new perspectives.

The creative in-house team for Wondaland Pictures consists of Monae as it's CEO, Mikeal Moore as the Managing Partner, and Chuck Lightning and Nate Wonder as the Creative Director and Executive Producer, respectively. Together, the two film companies will be developing multi-genre content.

Monáe spoke to Fast Company this month saying that everyone on her Wonderland team works in both the music and film side as well as “the endorsement side and the activism side” beginning with a Vision Board idea.

“Say it’s an album, or a movie – we [then] bring it to the management team and say, ‘Help us execute, keep us on schedule,’" Monae said. “All I want is to make sure the creative part of the enterprise is protected from people who don’t understand the metamorphosis – the many stages it takes to create art.”

In a statement to Deadline, Universal Pictures' Chairman Donna Langley said, “There is an exciting, artistic revolution taking place in our industry, and Janelle and the talented team at Wondaland are at the forefront. Their forward-thinking, inclusive approach to content and storytelling make them a perfect fit for our studio.”

Wondaland Pictures is a film division of Monae's multimedia company which she founded in 2001 shortly after linking up with Outkast's Big Boi. The Afrofuturism-influenced artist first crossed over to the acting world in 2016 when she co-starred in both the black queer film Moonlight and the biographical film Hidden Figures, that garnered critical acclaim and Oscars nods.

The business agreement takes Wondaland and Universal's relationship further as the 32-year old R&B singer will be gracing the movie screen again on Friday (Dec. 21) with the release of Universal's Welcome to Marwen and Universal affiliate Focus Features’ Harriet Tubman biopic in 2019. She will also be lending her voice to STX Entertainment's UglyDolls and Disney's remake of Lady and the Tramp.

Readers, are you excited for Monae's new venture?

READ MOREJanelle Monae To Be Honored With Trailblazer Award At Billboard’s Women In Music

From the Web

More on Vibe

Getty Images

An Unofficial Documentary About Drake Is Currently On Streaming Services

An unauthorized documentary about the rise of musician Drake can be viewed on video distribution services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. Drake: Rewriting the Rules initially dropped on Vimeo in Nov. 2018, and now, fans of the "God's Plan" musician will have a chance to watch it at their leisure on other platforms.

The documentary chronicles the music superstar from his days growing up in Toronto, to portraying Jimmy on the hit-teen drama Degrassi, to becoming a hip-hop star and working with musicians from Kanye West to his Young Money leader, Lil Wayne.

"Discover the untold story of how Drake rewrote the rules and rose from a child actor to become a cultural phenomenon and global musical icon," writes IMDb of the film's synopsis. "He is the king of pop and hip hop, combining many musical styles into one mainstream sound." The film runs 74 minutes long. Interviews from media figures and writers are included in the doc, which was directed and written by British filmmaker Ray King. However, no representatives from Drake's team are included.

Drake has not commented on the doc as of press time. He has been relatively quiet in the news, however, it's being reported that he is close to securing a residency of sorts at the Wynn's XS Nightclub in Las Vegas.


Continue Reading
Courtesy of Hulu

Stream: Hulu's 'FYRE Fraud' Doc Examines The Festival That Scammed Thousands

In 2017, rumors of an exclusive festival taking place in the Bahamas took over social media. Organized by Billy McFarland and promoted by Ja Rule, the FYRE Festival was the new, cool kid on the festival block and quickly put other more seasoned festivals to shame.

But all that glitters isn't gold.

FYRE FRAUD, the new documentary streaming on Hulu, takes an intimate look at the scam that left thousands stranded on the island. Directed by Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby Nason, the dark-comedy interviews whistleblowers, victims, and the convicted con-man himself, McFarland.

In a press release, Fraust and Nason said the goal isn't to make light of those who were scammed.

"Our aim was to set the stage for a strange journey into the moral abyss of our digital age, going beyond the meme to show an ecosystem of enablers, driven by profit and willing to look the other way, for their own gain.

"We draw on countless cultural references, on true crime tension, and on humor - but we did not intend to create a toothless comedy about the Fyre Festival. We hope this film can pierce our collective apathy and disrupt our own millennial peers, if only for an instant - to look at these stories for what they truly are, and to halt this algorithm before it devours us whole."

FYRE FRAUD is now streaming on Hulu.



Continue Reading
Al Bello

Dave Chappelle Isn't Sure His R. Kelly 'Chappelle Show' Skits Were Insensitive

The Surviving R. Kelly series may be over, but the fallout from it has seemingly just begun.

Director dream hampton took to Twitter during the airing of the Lifetime documentary and spoke honestly about the several celebrity men she contacted in hopes they'd speak on camera about R. Kelly and the years of sexual allegations that have shadowed him. Among them was Dave Chappelle.

The beloved comic famously made a music video entitled "Piss On You" mocking the real-life video of R. Kelly urinating on an underage girl. During the Chappelle Show heyday, he used R.Kelly's legal woes as material for years.

TMZ caught with Chappelle in West Hollywood and asked him if he regretted not being featured in hampton's series and instead he dodged the question.

"Jesus Christ, I just had dinner," Chappelle said in between taking a drag of his cigarette. "I just ate. Strop bringing that motherf**ker up."

When pressed about whether or not he thinks his old skits were insensitive, the 45-year-old said "I don't know. I'd have to watch it again."

D.L. Hughley joined Chappelle for dinner and commented on R.Kelly and the forthcoming Michael Jackson documentary, Leaving Neverland, which outlines sexual assault allegations against the late singer.

"If you can be mad at R. Kelly, you should be mad at Michael Jackson," Hughley said.


Continue Reading

Top Stories