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 MORE: Janelle Monae To Be Honored With Trailblazer Award At Billboard’s Women In Music