The 54-minute film is a “tropical thriller,” according to Vanity Fair, influenced by both City of God and Purple Rain. The New York Times reports that the movie reimagines several songs Glover has released recently as Childish Gambino, including the Number One hit “This Is America,” “Saturday” and “Summertime Magic.”
You’re all invited to our staycation with @donaldglover and @rihanna. The new #ChildishGambino film #GuavaIsland will be available on Prime Video starting Saturday 4/13 at 12:01am PST. pic.twitter.com/rxXecJEfzp
— Amazon Prime Video US (@PrimeVideo) April 11, 2019
When Glover pitched Amazon on the idea for Guava Island, he didn’t even have a script. But the service signed on anyway. “I would have committed to Donald sight unseen,” Jennifer Salke, the head of Amazon Studios, told Vanity Fair. “I knew whatever he wanted to amplify would have relevance and be entertaining. He has that ability to create cultural moments and spread a message that’s interesting.”
The script for Guava Island was subsequently written by Glover’s brother Stephen, and the movie was shot primarily in Cuba under a veil of secrecy. In addition to Rihanna, the actress Letitia Wright joined the small cast, while Glover’s longtime collaborator Hiro Murai served as director. In a statement, Murai called Guava Island a “crazy fever dream of a production.”
Glover initially unveiled the movie to a small group on Thursday night at Coachella, the night before headlining the festival as Childish Gambino. The film hit Amazon one night later during his headlining performance.
Childish Gambino has not released a new album since Awaken, My Love in 2016. The follow-up will be his first album on the major label RCA.