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Janelle Monae Signs First-Look Deal With Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures has entered into a first-look production agreement with Janelle Monae’s Wondaland Pictures, the film division of Wondaland.

Under the deal, Wondaland and Universal Pictures will aim at developing “multi-genre content with an emphasis on championing underrepresented voices and groundbreaking perspectives.”

The studio announced the deal Monday and noted that Monae stars in Universal’s “Welcome to Marwen,” which opens Dec. 21, and Harriet Tubman biopic “Harriet,” with an anticipated release in 2019 via Universal’s affiliate Focus Features.

“There is an exciting, artistic revolution taking place in our industry, and Janelle and the talented team at Wondaland are at the forefront,” said studio chairman Donna Langley. “Their forward-thinking, inclusive approach to content and storytelling make them a perfect fit for our studio.”

Monae is also starring in the STX animated movie “UglyDolls” and is expected to perform original songs for the film. Her previous acting credits include “Moonlight” and “Hidden Figures” as NASA engineer Mary Jackson. She recently released her third solo album, “Dirty Computer.”

Monae is CEO ‪at Wondaland. The execs include managing partner Mikael Moore, creative director Chuck Lightning, and executive producer Nate Wonder. Wondaland was represented in the deal by WME and Ziffren Brittenham. The news was first reported by Fast Company.

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