Frank Ocean’s Supposed A24 Movie: Plot, Release Date, Filming Details
After years of Frank Ocean’s radio silence on the music front, it looks like the Grammy-winning star will add a new creative arrow to his bow. Rumors are swirling that he will be making his feature film directorial debut with a new project, supposedly titled Philly, is expected to start production with A24 before the end of the year. Details are scarce – but knowing the tastes of Frank and the team behind the scenes, let’s make some brief guesses about what the movie might be like.
Of course, Frank Ocean never does anything: he’s taken care of Homer, his new luxury jewelry brand, and there’s bound to be new music on the way, as he’s set to headline Coachella in 2023. But according to the story broken by Discuss the movie last week, it looks like his film work is most imminent.
According to the story, Frank is apparently working with cult production company A24 and new production company 2AM, run by film industry heavyweight Christine D’Souza Gelb, on Philly. Two of his main executive producers are rumored to work alongside him at 2AM: Julia Oh, who joined the company last year after Film4, and David Hinojosa, who co-founded the company with Christine. Julia’s production credits are solid, with American honey and British teen drama Rocks in its back catalogue; So is David, ranging from A24 projects like Zola and Body Body Body at Carol and Vox Lux. If this is Frank’s team, he’s in very good hands. These studios also give us a good idea of the nebulous film’s potential budget. If you’re doing a $250 million blockbuster, A24 isn’t the guy you’re going to. If it does come to fruition, expect a lower-budget affair.
Frank too, naturally, would have had a hand in deciding who he would work with on this project. If Julia and David are his picks, what does that say about the kind of film he’s trying to make? American honey, Rocks, Body Body Body and Zola are all projects related to young people and their formative experiences. We know that Frank also likes to come as an adult. In a list of Frank’s favorite movies — published in his famous and coveted boys don’t cry zine – he named some famous examples, like Wes Anderson’s high school comedy Rushmore and the Italian neo-realist drama of the 1940s Bike thievesabout a boy and his father trying to make ends meet for their family.
There is also, of course, his public respect for call me by your name. During the press release of this film, he interviewed Timothée Chalamet on this subject for V. Then, of course, there was a “secret project” that Frank worked on with the film’s director, Luca Guadagnino, that has yet to see the light of day. Luca’s films oscillate between European love portraits and savage horror flicks at the moment, so it might be hard to use him as a litmus test of where Frank’s cinematic language might head next.
It’s worth pointing out that the aforementioned list of “favorite movies” that Frank compiled for boys don’t cry includes deep cinema and true classics. He likes Wong Kar-Wai and the Coen brothers; Luis Buñuel and Quentin Tarantino – man’s taste is quite diverse, far beyond the typical bro movie setting. He’s also seen as a pretty serious person on the surface, but hey, there’s all the potential that Frank could work on a comedy, if Wes’ early work still inspires him.
Regarding filming locations, Discuss the movieFrank’s sources shared that Frank and his team are eyeing New Mexico. New Mexico has evolved as a film location over the years. In the 20th century, it was a favorite spot for the dusty landscapes of legendary filmmakers, like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and Grapes of Wrath (1940) be shot there. More recently, its large open space has been used as a location for large film studios resembling air hangars: The Avengers, for example, was shot on stage there. But it was also the place where Brokeback Mountain was partially filmed. Maybe then, Frank is considering doing a western?
The intention, apparently, is to shoot the project this fall, before the end of the year. This would give Frank plenty of time to work on post-production and get the film ready for festivals by late summer the following year, following in the footsteps of other A24 projects, like Wavesfor which Frank provided many of his songs for the soundtrack.
His other link with A24 is tenuous: he wrote the preface to the hardcover book of Moonlightbut both – alongside the general perception of A24 as the arthouse film company of the day – mean the collaboration would make perfect sense.
But this is all just a rumour. iD contacted Frank’s representatives who declined to comment. It seems that if something happens, it’s still a secret. Expect a more formal announcement – including hopefully more on the subject of the film – or even a clearing up of all that hearsay very soon.
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