Occasionally, good things actually do happen in this increasingly doomed universe. For example, Monday we learned that Janelle Monáe's Wondaland Pictures has inked a deal with Universal Pictures to develop "multi-genre content" focused on "underrepresented voices and groundbreaking perspectives."
That's the word from Deadline, who reported the first-look deal alongside an encouraging note from Universal Pictures chair Donna Langley. "[Wondaland's] forward-thinking, inclusive approach to content and storytelling make them a perfect fit for our studio," Langley said.
Monáe, of course, is no stranger to Universal, or film in general. In addition to her turns in the Oscars-bagging Moonlight and Hidden Figures, both in 2016, Monáe had standout roles in Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams, this year's Welcome to Marwen, and is set to contribute voice talent to the upcoming Lady and the Tramp rework. She also played herself on Stargate Universe and American Dad.
This year, she unveiled the
short film emotion picture Dirty Computer in tandem with her excellent album of the same name.
Speaking with Complex in October, Monáe detailed her creative decision to design both the album and the emotion picture as a sort of "prelude" to her earlier work set in the near-future. Speaking specifically on the film's use of drones as law enforcement's go-to form, Monáe relayed a real-life experience that she says asks one of the same questions presented in her latest work.
"It's a question that we have to ask ourselves around surveillance as a form of oppression, or surveillance also as a form of protection," she said. "Is it good? Is it evil? Is it invading privacy? It's something that I have not fully settled on yet. I'm still forming my opinion on it."
For your holiday viewing pleasure, Austin City Limits recently uploaded a trio of Janelle performances to their official YouTube channel including "Electric Lady," "Make Me Feel," and "Pynk." Enjoy those below if you like things that are good.