Entertainment Weekly reports that on top of releasing his very acclaimed mixtape Coloring Book this summer, Chance the Rapper happened to simultaneously, quietly be in production in the starring role in the movie Slice, by Austin Vesely. (He’s directed a number of music videos for Chance, including the video for the Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment hit, “Sunday Candy.”) The project wasn’t a secret, though it’d somehow gone relatively under the radar ever since Vesely first did an interview about the project in the Chicago publication, Redeye, back in 2015. In keeping with what was revealed in that old interview, A24 describes the film, which was shot in Chicago, as set “in a mysterious city” and centering “around an enigmatic outlaw framed for a killing spree that targets unsuspecting pizza delivery boys.”
In the Redeye piece, Vesely teased that Chance would be playing the lead, Dax Lycander, who happens to be a “disgraced werewolf” and former Chinese food delivery boy. The plot supposedly goes back to an incident that happened to his character years ago. Vesely said back in 2015:
Being friends and colleagues with Chance the Rapper was cool because he’s interested in movies too. He basically told me that when the time comes that I could make something, he’d be there for me. So I wrote a role for him in the piece.
But he’d also said that towards the beginning of production, they’d “tailor the role more to [Chance’s] voice and his humor,” so who knows how much has changed since that initial interview.
Vesely mentioned, in response to a question about the mixture of the banal and the supernatural in the film, that he was inspired particularly by George Saunders’ novella, “CivilWarLand In Bad Decline.” He told the publication:
He puts you into a world and he doesn’t explain the rules to you, so you figure it out as you go. So he created this world [with] ghosts that just existed and were part of the fabric of the universe. That was really a big inspiration to me to make a movie [that] would also do that. I also did the exact same thing; I have ghosts in this movie and they’re basically part of the fabric of the government, of the town the film takes place in.
Chance teased the film on Twitter, in a clip you can watch below. A24 (the company behind many of the best recent indies, like Moonlight and The Witch) allegedly plans to release it sometime in the second half of 2017.