Frank Ocean is directing an A24 film: here’s everything we know so far
While we wait for new music, the Blonde artist is gearing up to release his first feature-length film
words Hannah Bertolino
For those waiting on an album drop, here’s something to hold you over: according to Discussing Film, Frank Ocean is linking up with production companies A24 and 2AM to write and direct his first-ever feature film.
The Grammy Award-winning musician – who, since his critically acclaimed 2016 studio album Blonde, has released singles “DHL” and “In My Room” – has been known to delve into different projects over the years. In 2017, he launched his Apple Music 1 radio show Blonded Radio, and in 2018 he opened up his own luxury jewellery label, Homer.
Now, Ocean’s feature film debut – which has been internally nicknamed “Philly” – is set to start production this fall. On brand for the Blonde artist, most of the film’s details have been kept under wraps. While we wait for more details, however, read through everything we know so far.
IT’S CO-PRODUCED BY A24 AND 2AM
Besides having Frank Ocean at its helm, the project will be backed by young, London-based production and management company 2AM, and its parent company A24 (known for producing Midsommar, Uncut Gems, Mid90s, and Everything Everywhere All at Once). However, this won’t be Ocean’s first collaboration with A24. In 2016, the musician penned a personal essay on being a queer person of colour as the foreword for Barry Jenkins’ published Moonlight screenplay. Meanwhile, in 2019, he offered up multiple songs to feature in Trey Shults’ drama film Waves.
IT MIGHT BE SET IN NEW MEXICO
While the project may be nicknamed “Philly”, it was reported that Ocean is scouting out filming locations in New Mexico – leading fans to guess that the plot may feature an east coast-west coast storyline. Meanwhile, reports state that the team is aiming to wrap up filming before the new year… perhaps we’ll have a film to stream while we wait for album three?
THIS ISN’T OCEAN’S FIRST RUMOURED FILM PROJECT
While this may be Ocean’s feature film debut, the musician was previously rumoured to be creating a music video with Call Me By Your Name’s director Luca Guadagnino in 2020. While the music video was never released in the end, Guadagnino did share that he’s open to working with Ocean in the future. "We were collaborating on a music video that never happened,” said the director in an interview. “I use (The New York Times) to launch an appeal to Frank: Frank, let's do that video. Come on.” Could “Philly” be the long-lost collab between the two artists? We hope so.
IT MIGHT DRAW INSPO FROM FRANK OCEAN’S FAVE FILMS
While we’ve yet to find out any clear details about the plot, it’s possible that “Philly” could draw inspiration from Frank Ocean’s all-time favourite films. In fact, shortly after releasing Blonde, Ocean released a lengthy list of his personal favourites, including The Good, The Bad And The Ugly; The Godfather; Paris, Texas; Basquiat; and Annie Hall. Elsewhere, the list featured multiple films by Paul Thomas Anderson, Quentin Tarantino, Wong Kar-wei, Werner Herzog, David Lynch, Stanley Kubrick and the Coen Brothers… we suggest hosting a “Frank Ocean’s faves” movie night while we await more news.