“Guava Island,” the highly anticipated movie starring Donald Glover, Rihanna, and Letitia Wright, could finally be ready to world premiere this weekend. Numerous outlets, including Vulture, Pitchfork, and Refinery29 have cited an official YouTube press release that confirms “Guava Island” will world premiere during YouTube’s live stream of Coachella’s first weekend. Glover’s music persona Childish Gambino is one of the festival’s headlining acts and is set to perform Friday, April 12.
Refinery29 quotes the YouTube Press release as saying: “YouTube’s Weekend 1 live stream, presented by T-Mobile in the US, and Garnier and Coca-Cola in Canada, will give music fans around the world the best seats in the desert for groundbreaking performances from their favourite artists when they tune into Coachella’s YouTube Channel on any screen (desktop, mobile and living room) and within the YouTube Music app. In addition, fans will get treated to a one-time premiere of the new Childish Gambino film, ‘Guava Island,’ featuring Rihanna.”
Interestingly enough, the YouTube press release page no longer includes the line about the “one-time premiere of the new Childish Gambino film.” The paragraph where the information should be simply ends with “YouTube Music app.”
IndieWire has reached out to YouTube for further comment. Whether or not the line was pulled because Glover’s camp wants to keep the launch a total surprise remains to be seen. Regardless, buzz remains high that “Guava Island” will debut this weekend, particularly since some Spotify users have started seeing advertisements for the film touting an April 13 release date (via Shadow and Act). April 13 is the day after Childish Gambino’s Coachella performance. The aforementioned outlets report the original YouTube press release did not include any info about what day or time “Guava Island” might stream.
Outside of the cast and the involvement of Glover’s “Atlanta” director Hiro Murai, not much about “Guava Island” is known. None of the talent involved have spoken about the project, so it’s anyone’s guess as to whether or not “Guava Island” is a traditional feature, a short film, or a visual album in the vein of Beyonce’s “Lemonade.” Most fans predict it’s the latter. Footage from “Guava Island” screened at Glover’s PHAROS festival in November and a title advertised the project as a “Childish Gambino Film.” The brief clip teased a narrative centered around Glover and Rihanna’s characters in a relationship and Glover’s character getting kidnapped.
“Guava Island” is set in Cuba and was shot on location. Sources told IndieWire last year that Murai worked with “Atlanta” cinematographer Christian Sprenger on the project. Expect Glover and Rihanna fans to be watching YouTube’s Coachella live stream closely this weekend for a potential “Guava Island” world premiere.