‘Us’: Everything you need to know about Jordan Peele’s future projects
He’s done it again! Unless you’re a film festival nut, Us is pretty undeniably the best film of the year so far – and it feels like only yesterday Jordan Peele released his breakthrough feature debut Get Out in March. Not only does the film rule just as hard as his first exercise in social terror, its box office performance has been absolutely stunning.
Taking home $71.1 million in its first weekend, Us claimed one of the biggest debuts ever for an original live-action film, second only to James Cameron’s Avatar. Both the critical and audience responses have been off the charts for this one, crowning Peele the new king of mainstream horror – if he hadn’t already earned that title after Get Out, of course.
Peele took home an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 2018, and we’ve got our fingers crossed that Us receives the same level of recognition, if not more. He also got some buzz this year with his collaboration with the Best Picture nominee and Oscar-winner BlackKklansman, for which Spike Lee received the award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
There’s no doubt that Jordan Peele’s phone is constantly ringing, and he and his company Monkeypaw Productions have already signed up for involvement in too many upcoming projects to count. We’ll give it a go though – here’s every reason why Jordan Peele is the creative force to set your calendar around.
If you didn’t already get a chance to see Us, here’s why you need to run down to your local cinema and catch it now.
Before the film was released, we reported Us had one of the most intriguing casts and mysterious posters for an upcoming film. In fact, Us was our most anticipated horror movie of last year. The movie is just as chilling and thought-provoking as Peele’s debut.
Reportedly, the budget for Us was five times higher than the cost of Get Out. Everyone knows the magic this filmmaker can create on a mere $4.5 million, so prepare to be amazed.
If you’ve been living under a rock all winter and you’re on the fence about seeing it, all you need to know is Us premiered to rapturous acclaim at SXSW, it holds a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 95%, and it stars our favorite Lupita Nyong’o.
First-look deal with Universal
Get Out was such an impressive debut, Universal was immediately presenting cheques and contracts to give him free reign to do whatever he pleases. A wise decision.
More movies on the way
Peele told Business Insider upon the release of Get Out that he had “four other social thrillers that I want to unveil in the next decade,” proving that Marvel aren’t the only ones with crazy longterm plans for the future. Now Us makes two out of five, so that leaves three more dark descents into topical terror and social upheaval to take us into the 2020s.
All eyes are on Peele’s revitalized version of The Twilight Zone – don’t worry, we’ll get to it soon enough – but meanwhile don’t sleep on this first foray into the anthology series. A funky splice of techno horror and sci-fi comedy, the series takes place in a dystopian city of the future, each episode exploring wacky characters and surreal scenarios of a world inhabited by a segregated populace of disillusioned citizens.
Peele got his break through his sketch show Key & Peele and while he’ll occasionally be returning to comedy, he has admitted that his true love is horror. After Get Out, Peele will be working on a number of horror projects for both film & TV, and Lovecraft Country looks like one of the most exciting.
Set in America during Jim Crow, it follows a group of black Americans on a journey to discover the protagonist’s missing father. On the way, they encounter both terrible racism and Lovecraftian creatures.
Peele’s last film role was voicing school nerd Melvin Sneedly in the long-awaited adaptation of Captain Underpants, and it looks like he’ll be flexing his pipes again, this time for more adult fare. Abruptio takes a leaf out of the Jim Henson school of filmmaking and will be performed entirely by puppets.
Toy Story 4
Peele had already hinted at a departure from acting, but we guess no one can resist the allure of Pixar. Plus, a reunion with his sketch comedy costar Keegan Michael-Key is far too sweet an opportunity to miss. The pair is set to play Ducky & Bunny, two fairground prizes desperate to be won, but instead they get whisked along an adventure with Buzz, Woody, and the rest of the gang.
Put “Jordan Peele” and “Nazi hunting” together and it could be on Nickelodeon for all we care. Inspired by true events in the 70s, the series is set to feature Logan Lerman (Fury), who leads a deadly group of Nazi hunters discovering a nationwide conspiracy to ignite a Fourth Reich in the USA.
The series rides on the coattails of Al Pacino’s comeback, anticipated to blow our minds with Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman later this year. We can’t wait to see Monkeypaw and Jordan Peele’s take on a period piece revenge thriller.
The Twilight Zone
Crazy premises and messed-up twists? Check. Creeping sense of anxiety? Check. Striking iconography that reveals itself as a maniacal allegory for societal tension and social ails? Check and check.
Both Get Out and Us already feel like big-budget, extra-twisted feature-length episodes of The Twilight Zone with a dash of racial commentary and modern blood & guts anyhow, so who else would you get to host, produce, and fine -tune this reboot? The first two episodes are dropping on CBS All Access this April 1st, and we’ve already booked a blank week in our calendars just to sit and ponder in existential anguish.
Wendell and Wild
The director of Coraline and The Nightmare Before Christmas, Henry Sellick, is finally returning to the uncanny world of kooky stop-motion animation. Featuring two demon brothers facing off against an evil nun and teenage goths, who else would you get for a comedy-horror featuring a double act but Key & Peele? There’s no release date set for this one yet, so let’s pray it doesn’t get stuck in development hell.
Set to release in 2020, unfortunately Peele himself isn’t taking the director’s chair for this one, but he will be overseeing a reboot of the cult-classic horror film as its executive producer. Directed by Nia DaCosta, the new filmmaker behind Tessa Thompson and Lily James’s next project Little Woods, the spiritual sequel will transpose the gritty, impoverished original to a gentrified neighborhood in Chicago.
Got the JP bug and can’t wait to get another fix of his genius? Check out these shows & movies you can already devour.
Co-creator of The Last O.G.
If Girls Trip was Tiffany Haddish’s big break, The Last O.G. has cemented her as a comedic genius and fierce talent to watch out for. The show also stars Tracy Morgan (30 Rock) in one of his first starring roles since his car accident, and it’s safe to say he’s still got it. Watch it on Amazon now.
Producer of BlacKkKlansman
Despite working mainly within the horror genre, Get Out was just as much about angrily pointing out racial hypocrisies as Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, so it was only a matter of time before the two filmmakers worked together.
Lee’s film – about a black detective who infiltrates the KKK – is produced by Peele and Jason Blum (who produced Get Out). If that’s not enough, it also stars Denzel Washington’s son, John David Washington (hopefully talent runs in the family) and Adam Driver (Star Wars: The Last Jedi).
Retired from acting
Sadly, we’ve heard Jordan Peele has retired from acting. It’s definitely a shame, as the characters created for Key and Peele showed off his comedic style perfectly and some are just instantly gifable. He’s also guest starred in the prestigious series Fargo (alongside his comedic partner Keegan-Michael Key) and lent his voice to several animated shows, including Rick and Morty and Big Mouth.
However, all that is worth letting go of if it means he can focus on the insane number of producing and directing projects he has lined up. Let’s hope he’s not entirely done with his acting career, though.
And finally, any father who names his son Beaumont Gino is undeniably a genius.