In the age of the internet, the power of stan culture is immeasurable. They take on ticket conglomerates, get their favorite artists top status on Billboard charts, and in more sinister instances can utilize their military-like forces to attack whoever denounces their icon. That latter instance of unrelenting dedication is the center of Amazon Studios’ first eerie trailer for Swarm, starring Dominique Fishback (Judas And The Black Messiah) as a pop diva disciple whose loyalty takes a deadly turn.
Co-created by Donald Glover and Atlanta writer Janine Nabers, the series follows Dre (Fishback), a young woman whose obsession with a fictional Beyoncé-like pop star leads her down a dark path. The teaser lends itself to psychological horror, as a constant buzzing sound backdrops Dre’s repeated question of “Who is your favorite artist?” Don’t answer wrong though, as a final shot of Dre having a sing-along while mopping up a pile of blood seems to be the outcome.
Inspired by his own relationship with fans as the rapper Childish Gambino, Glover decided to pitch the idea to Nabers following the end of their Emmy-winning series Atlanta. “We just thought it’d be fun to make a post-truth Piano Teacher mixed with The King of Comedy,” said Glover in a 2022 interview with Vanity Fair about the project.
Along with taking inspiration from the 2001 Michael Haneke film and Martin Scorsese’s 1982 classic, Nabers described to Vanity Fair that the creation of the series gave them the chance to explore an antihero story “through the lens of a Black, modern-day woman.”
Starring alongside Fishback is musician Chloe Bailey, who plays Dre’s sister Marissa, with Damson Idris (Snowfall) as her boyfriend in the series.
While that’s enough young star power for one show, Malia Obama joins the series from behind the camera as part of the writer’s room, likely bringing in her own experience of growing up under the limelight to the show.
Serving as Swarm’s showrunner is Nabers (Watchmen), with Glover directing the first episode. Stephen Glover, Fam Udeorji, Steven Prinz, and Michael Schaefer are executive producers, with Fishback joining as a producer.
Swarm releases to the masses on Amazon’s Prime Video March 17.