Chance the Rapper is adding to his already lengthy list of side projects by developing a new movie musical called Hope for MGM. The story is close to Chance’s heart as, according to the studio, it follows a group of teenagers who turn “art into [community] action.” Since Chance’s rise to prominence, he’s also turned his attention from music to politics and activism. Most recently, he teased a bid for the Chicago Mayor’s office before ultimately endorsing Amara Enyia. ““Very narcissistically,” he said, “if I back you, you have a chance.”
Chance’s longtime musical collaborator Nico Segal — formerly known as Donnie Trumpet — will handle the music for the film. Segal has worked with Chance for his entire career, and helmed Surf, The Social Experiment’s 2015 album that put Chance in a backseat role for a critically acclaimed full-length. Carlito Rodriguez, a writer for Empire and The Leftovers, will write the script.
It’s unclear whether Chance’s role will extend to appear in the film. MGM did not immediately respond to a request for clarification on whether Chance’s involvement would be limited to staying behind the camera. Chance appeared in a film this year — he played a werewolf in Slice, a supernatural horror/comedy directed by Austin Vesely, another longtime Chicago collaborator, and released by A24. However, his experience on the film set did not seem to leave him wanting to appear in more movies.
“I don’t like shooting movies, I don’t like being on a set or in a trailer,” he said in a Q&A at a Slice screening, according to Indiewire. “It’s very different from the way that I execute my music after its written.”
“I think if I do end up doing any more cinema it will be probably be a long, long time from now,” he said in June. Hope did not come with an expected release date, but it’s likely not a long, long time away. In the same Q&A, Chance suggested he may want to get involved in a more directorial role. “I do think what I really enjoy is the creative process,” he said. “I love how Austin made this vision so tangible and I would love to get into that side at some point, but yeah definitely not sitting in a fucking trailer.”