Bando Stone & the New World Gives Donald Glover a New Sci-Fi Alter Ego

Don’t go out at night.

Jessica Allain and Donald Glover in Bando Stone & the New World

As an actor, writer, and musician, Donald Glover’s best projects see him combine those disparate talents to create something entirely new. He often has a distinct vision, even if he hasn’t always had the tools to express it. That’s especially true for Because the Internet, the sophomore album released by his Childish Gambino alter-ego. Alongside the music, Glover penned a screenplay and even commissioned a short film directed by a now-constant collaborator, Hiro Murai. Despite its then-novel approach to Afrofuturism, the project was never really completed, but after 10 years, it still feels like a promising proof of concept.

Now, with his latest project, Glover may get another chance. Following the release of Atavista (the “finished version” of his 2020 album 3.15.20), Glover will drop another album this year called Bando Stone & the New World. The album doubles as the soundtrack for a film of the same name, directed by Glover and produced by RCA Records. There’s no release date for Bando Stone yet, but its first trailer teases a sci-fi adventure that feels like a cross between Jordan Peele’s Nope and Glover’s own Guava Island.

Glover takes on a new alter-ego as Brando Stone, a singer who finds himself at the center of a trippy conspiracy. He teams up with a no-nonsense road warrior (Jessica Allain, The Continental) and her young son, who are making a trek from one side of their unnamed island to the next. Notably, they can only travel when the sun’s out. When Bando asks why, his allies ominously explain that night is “when everything comes out.”

“Everything” covers a trove of fantastical horrors, from giant boars to pulsating energy fields capable of vaporizing them. The Bando Stone trailer is otherwise scant on plot details, but it’s an interesting new project for Glover. His efforts with Because the Internet have come full circle: he’s produced music to accompany film and TV projects before, but never on this scale. Bando Stone represents a culmination for both the filmmaker and his musical alter ego; since he’s reportedly retiring the Gambino moniker after this upcoming album, it seems like he’ll be going out with a bang.

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