'Swarm': Donald Glover and Dominique Fishback Preview Beyoncé-Inspired Series

Glover described the Prime Video series as 'a sister' to his acclaimed FX series, 'Atlanta.'

Donald Glover is diving into the deep end of stan culture with his new series. The former rapper previewed his upcoming series Swarm with Vanity Fair, explaining how the Prime Video show is a "sister" to his acclaimed FX series, Atlanta. 

Swarm tells the story of Dre (played by Dominique Fishback), a young woman who is obsessed with a fictional pop star whose body of work and art style are reportedly very similar to Beyoncé's. The show will dive into Dre's life, her fandom, and how it takes her to dark, unexpected places.

Glover pitched the idea to Janine Nabers, an Atlanta writer and producer who serves as the series' showrunner. 

"We were really interested in creating an antihero story," Nabers tells the outlet. She explains that she and Glover took inspiration from iconic TV antiheroes who were compelling in their messiness, such as Mad Men's Don Draper and The Sopranos' Tony Soprano, and created a new version of that archetype, "through the lens of a Black, modern-day woman."

"We just thought it'd be fun to make a post-truth Piano Teacher mixed with The King of Comedy," Glover explains, referencing Michael Haneke's 2001 drama and the 1982 Martin Scorsese classic.

Fishback stars as the lead alongside Chloe Bailey as Marissa, Dre's sister, and Damson Idris as her charismatic boyfriend.

"I heard from my team that Donald was creating a show and wanted me to be part of it. I was like, 'Oh, shoot! Donald Glover knows me. That's pretty cool,'" Fishback recalls with a laugh. She shares that she was originally approached to play Marissa, but fought to play Dre, who is described as "a little more offbeat." 

"I don't want to be able to catch up to myself as an actor," Fishback says. "[Dre] didn't give a lot of direction about who she was, why she felt the way she did. I really had to go on instinct."

Prime Video
Prime Video
Prime Video

Nabers shares that the show's crew is comprised mostly of former Atlanta staff, saying Swarm lives in "the same tonal space" as the Emmy-winning FX series. 

"A lot of people did it out of the kindness of their hearts and they did a really great job," Glover explains. "Dom, Damson, Chloe. I was really blown away at how hard they worked on the tone, 'cause it's a strange one."

See the full first look at Vanity Fair.

Atlanta ended its final season with a much talked-about series finale in November. While the last episode ended with Darius (Lakeith Stanfield) questioning his reality and audiences left wondering if it all was, in fact, just a dream, Brian Tyree Henry told ET it was "a really good conclusion" despite the "mixed" response. 

"I think, you know, the conclusion was exactly how it needed to be," the actor told ET while attending the 32nd Annual Gotham Awards, where he was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Performance for his role in the Apple TV+ film Causeway

In the finale, which could have easily been a regular midseason episode, Darius went on an unexpected journey, with him even rescuing his friends – Earn (Donald Glover), Al (Henry) and Van (Zazie Beetz) – from a precarious situation at a local sushi restaurant. The episode then ends with all four of them back at home watching Judge Judy while Darius ponders whether everything that transpired happened in real life or just in his dreams. 

While Atlanta as a series has largely been a surreal experience, the finale recalled Newhart's shocking dream revelation and The Sopranos' frustrating fade to black. And there have been a number of explainers, interviews and reactions attempting to break down what really happened in the end. 

Despite the ambiguity, Henry felt it was the right way to go. "We wanted to go out with a bang, and I think we did," he said, while also acknowledging all the unexpected journeys all four characters went on during the show's run. 

"We had a good one. You know, we went on a lot of adventures. We've done a lot of things. I've been shot at a lot and chased a lot," Henry said, referring to Al's many ups and downs. "But it's, like, we just really felt like the trajectory of our characters came to a really good conclusion."