Photo Credit: Belvedere From the left: Chuck Lightning, Janelle Monáe, Nate Wonder and Mikael Moore.
Janelle Monáe’s Wondaland Pictures has entered into a first-look production agreement with Universal Pictures, the studio announced today.
CEO Monáe, creative director Chuck Lightning, executive producer Nate Wonder, and managing partner Mikael Moore will develop multi-genre content along with Universal, with an emphasis on championing underrepresented voices and groundbreaking perspectives.
“There is an exciting, artistic revolution taking place in our industry, and Janelle and the talented team at Wondaland are at the forefront,” said Donna Langley, chairman, Universal Pictures in a statement. “Their forward-thinking, inclusive approach to content and storytelling make them a perfect fit for our studio.”
Monáe’s Wondaland, which expanded to Wondaland Records in 2015, is a multimedia company designed to bring more wonder to the world by telling universal stories, in unforgettable ways, and this partnership will harness Wondaland’s progressive platform for pioneering acting, music and storytelling across the entertainment space.
Monáe will next star in Universal’s “Welcome To Marwen” alongside Steve Carell, and she’ll also be featured in the Harriet Tubman biopic “Harriet” from Focus Features arriving in 2019. She’s a six-time Grammy nominee who also starred in the Best Picture-nominated “Hidden Figures” and “Moonlight.”
Wondaland was represented in the deal by WME and Ziffren Brittenham.
LGBTQ Hollywood: 17 Stars Who've Come Out Since Last Year's Coming Out Day (Photos)
Rita Ora, Janelle Monae, Lee Pace and more stars who've publicly joined Hollywood's LGBTQ community since National Coming Out Day 2017.
Singer-songwriter Teddy Geiger, who's written hits for Shawn Mendes and One Direction, took to Instagram in October 2017 to say she was transitioning. "She/her pronouns are perfect," Geiger wrote on Twitter. "And... yes I am still Teddy."
Oscar winner Kevin Spacey delivered history's most awkward public coming out in October 2017, identifying himself as gay just moments after offering actor Anthony Rapp "the sincerest apology" for attempting to seduce the then-14-year-old "Star Trek" actor in 1986.
Rutina Wesley, who starred in "True Blood" and OWN's "Sugar Queen," came out in a series of Instagram posts in November 2017.
"The Hobbit" and "Pushing Daisies" alum Lee Pace identified himself as bisexual in a February 2018 interview in W magazine. "I've dated men. I've dated women,” he said. “I don't know why anyone would care."
"Love, Simon" actor Joey Pollari publicly identified as gay in a March 2018 interview with The Advocate. "It's part of my goal to be more transparent, especially in the public sphere," he said.
Former Disney star Alyson Stoner ("Camp Rock," "Cheaper by the Dozen 2") published a personal essay in the March 2018 Teen Vogue declaring: "I, Alyson, am attracted to men, women, and people who identify in other ways."
"Broad City" star Abbi Jacobson told Vanity Fair in an April 2018 interview: "I kind of go both ways; I date men and women."
Singer-actress Janelle Monáe ("Hidden Figures") identified herself as "a queer black woman" in an April 2018 interview in Rolling Stone, "someone who has been in relationships with both men and women -- I consider myself to be a free-ass motherf---er."
Kevin McHale, who played wheelchaired high schooler Artie on "Glee," came out via Twitter in April 2018, prompted by the release of Ariana Grande's single "No Tears Left to Cry."
R&B singer Kehlani took to Twitter in April 2018 to identify herself as "queer -- not bi, not straight."
Singer and actress Rita Ora ("Fifty Shades" series) identified herself as bisexual in a series of May 2018 tweets in which she also apologized to fans upset over lyrics in her "Girls" single: "I have had romantic relationships with women and men throughout my life and this is my personal journey.”
"Thor: Ragnarok" star Tessa Thompson came out as bisexual -- and in a relationship with actress-singer Janelle Monáe -- in a June interview in Net-a-Porter. "I’m attracted to men and also to women," she said.
Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Jason Mraz came out as bisexual in a poem written for Billboard in June 2018: "We still have a long way to go / But know / I am bi your side."
"The Hate U Give" star Amandla Stenberg, who had identified as bisexual at age 17, came out as gay in a June 2018 interview in Wonderland: “I was so overcome with this profound sense of relief when I realized that I’m gay -- not bi, not pan, but gay -- with a romantic love for women."
Panic! At The Disco frontman Brendon Urie told Paper magazine in July that he identifies as pansexual. "I'm married to a woman and I'm very much in love with her but I'm not opposed to a man because to me, I like a person. ... I'm definitely attracted to men."
Josie Totah, the 17-year-old star of Mindy Kaling's short-lived comedy "Champions," came out as a transgender woman in an August essay in Time magazine. “I have come to believe that God made me transgender," she wrote. "I don’t feel like I was put in the wrong body."
Garrett Clayton, star of Disney Channel's "Teen Beach Movie" and "Hairspray Live!" came out as gay in an Instagram post in August 2018 -- and shared his personal experience with "intense bullying in high school."
Read 20 great coming out stories by stars, from Jodie Foster to Matt Bomer.