When it comes to merging music and film, few could have asked for a better dream team than Rihanna and Donald Glover.
The trailer for the upcoming musical film project “Guava Island,” with Glover (also known by his stage name, Childish Gambino) and Rihanna as co-stars, premiered at the PHAROS festival in New Zealand on Nov. 24. The film is being directed by Glover’s longtime collaborator, Hiro Murai.
Murai, in addition to having directed a number of music videos, has directed for television, as well, including 14 episodes of the Emmy-winning series “Atlanta,” which Glover created. “Guava Island” will be Murai’s feature film debut.
Until the trailer, there was an air of mystery about the film, and even now there’s little information to be had about the project.
Though there still hasn’t been an announcement about when the film will be released, we now know that Letitia Wright and Nonso Anozie are also a part of the cast, that they’re filming in Cuba, and that the film seems to be tackling some heavy material.
The trailer begins peacefully, with Glover singing and playing the guitar, and there’s a charming chemistry between his character and Rihanna’s. The two seem to be love interests in the film.
The trailer, however, soon takes a dark turn when Glover’s character starts getting mixed up with dangerous people. It ends with Glover getting kidnapped as Rihanna searches desperately for him in the crowd, all of it set to frantic Afro-Cuban percussion.
Glover’s narration is poignant, seemingly an indictment of the tourism industry in island nations: “We live in paradise but none of us actually have the time or the means to live here.”
Fans have high hopes for the film, despite not yet knowing much about it.
Both Rihanna and Glover have proven their acting chops as well as their musical talents over the past few years. Rihanna had a memorable role in this year’s “Ocean’s 8,” while Glover is currently a producer, director, writer, and actor in “Atlanta.”
It will be exciting to see how the two of them—together a formidable force of creativity and influence—will manage to shake up the entertainment world.