When it comes to storytelling, Janelle Monáe knows a thing or two (see: the Dirty Computer album rollout or any of her critically acclaimed movie roles). Now she’s taking things up a notch with Universal Pictures, who just announced a production agreement with Monáe’s Wondaland Pictures.
“There is an exciting, artistic revolution taking place in our industry, and Janelle and the talented team at Wondaland are at the forefront,” Donna Langley, Chairman of Universal Pictures, told Deadline. “Their forward-thinking, inclusive approach to content and storytelling make them a perfect fit for our studio.”
And when you think about it, the move makes sense. Not only does the Electric Lady make an appearance in Universal’s forthcoming Welcome to Marwen, but she’ll also appear in Focus Features’ Harriet Tubman biopic, Harriet, which hits theaters next year.
And, as Complex notes, let’s not forget her performances in Oscar darlings Moonlight and Hidden Figures, or her role in Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams. She’s also appeared (as herself) on Stargate Universe, American Dad, and will lend her voice to the forthcoming adaptation of Lady and the Tramp.
But back to Dirty Computer, because it truly was one of the year’s masterpieces—Complex caught up with her during an October convo, in which she spoke on the use of drones as law enforcement in the album’s “emotion picture.”
“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 stated. “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.”
Hopefully we get to see more of this as Wondaland and Universal’s production agreement takes form. For now, revisit the Dirty Computer emotion picture below and be inspired: