In a Hollywood Reporter cover story published this morning, Drake outlined his plan to move into TV and film production, and he already has an impressive list of partners and potential projects.
He confirmed that he’s working with Netflix to revive Top Boy, which ran on Channel 4 in the UK from 2011 to 2013. He’ll executive produce the series alongside his longtime manager Adel Nur. He told The Hollywood Reporter that he originally watched the show on YouTube, and was impressed by the world-building in the London-set crime drama. He also called out the “human element,” which is a nice parallel with a deeply adorable anecdote from later in the interview:
Drake attended a private screening of A24's The Florida Project and became obsessed with the Sean Baker-helmed film about a destitute mom and her 6-year-old daughter living in the shadows of Disney World. “That was one of my favorite things I’d seen in a long time, just because it taught me something about a world I would never think of and what it was like to live there. It was just very pure and very human,” he says.
The Top Boys revival is set to debut on Netflix sometime in early 2019. Drake is also thinking about taking The Carter Effect, a documentary about the Toronto Raptors and basketball star Vince Carter, to Netflix. It debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, and the distribution rights are still up for grabs.
He rattled off a series of other projects and interests, including an untitled TV series for Anonymous Content, the production company behind Mr. Robot and True Detective; a collaboration with A24, the film studio behind Moonlight, Ex Machina, and upcoming James Franco pet project The Disaster Artist; and an open-ended partnership with Apple. The profile also suggests that Drake may be interested in the rights to Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy, which is headed back to the market now that Darren Aronofsky’s proposed HBO adaptation has been dropped.
The vaguest (or most secretive) plan seems to be whatever Drake has in the works at Apple. THR says Jimmy Iovine has informed him he can make whatever he wants, kicking off Apple’s first year spending up to $1 billion on original film and TV content. The first big name on Apple’s slate was Steven Spielberg, whose anthology series Amazing Stories will be adapted into a 10-part miniseries by NBCUniversal. The profile is full of praise from Apple executives, basically crediting Drake with the success of Apple Music.
Previously, Drake co-wrote the short film Please Forgive Me with Apple Music’s head of content Larry Jackson, and it debuted as an Apple exclusive. His 2016 album Views was Apple Music’s first major music exclusive, his Beats 1 radio show essentially launched the platform, and his 2017 “playlist” More Life broke global streaming records with Apple’s help. It’s not surprising that his partnership with the tech company is expanding — but if the range of interests in this profile are any indication (Drake also says he plans to buy a $160,000 first-edition Harry Potter book for himself for his birthday), we can expect some surprises in the projects he eventually picks out.