For years, comedian Jordan Peele has made a name for himself thanks to the popularity of Comedy Central’s Key & Peele. While delivering hilarious sketches, the show also slowly gained a reputation for the biting social commentary it wove throughout its satirical material. For many, he was a writer with plenty of promise in the comedy world. None, however, could have suspected he’d make an even bigger splash in the realm of horror films. When it was announced that Peele would be making his directoral debut with a horror film examining race in America, people were taken aback. Once Get Out premiered, though, it quickly proved to be one of the genre’s best movies and a rare example of the medium being used to examine social issues.
Since then, the movie has made Peele the first black director to have a $100 million debut, and the weeks since have seen the film continue to earn at the box office. The universal acclaim of the movie has even made Peele CinemaCon’s Director of the Year, and put him on the fast-track to be one of Hollywood’s hottest new directors. While Peele is in high demand, he’s stated he intends to make at least a few more socially-focused horror films to follow-up Get Out. Still, the offers are likely pouring in for the director to hop on a number of blockbuster projects.
THR asked Peele about his new clout in Hollywood in a fascinating interview that touched on the black voice in cinema and the director’s newfound fame. When asked what the future holds, Peele said he’s not in any hurry to seize on his spotlight.
“There is a feeling of opportunity that is truly amazing. I’ve been in Hollywood for 14 years — 14 years of closed doors and the grind. So to feel the energy coming from inside the industry, let alone from the country, is just one of the best feelings. Luckily I have reps who can help me sift through all of the opportunities. But I really want to continue to nurture my own voice. I love writing, so I’m not in any rush. I am a huge fan of Quentin Tarantino, who takes time to figure out what his next movie is.”
It’s easy to see Peele making the jump that many hot indie directors do and quickly joining a tentpole franchise. And while that’s still possible, it looks like he’ll be sticking with the auteur path for now. This, of course, seems to contradict yesterday’s rumor that Peele is the frontrunner to direct the long-in-development Akira remake, but it’s possible that’s still in his future. After all, that film has been gestating for at least a decade. Considering Get Out was such a hit thanks to its unique tone and Peele’s specific voice and vision, it’s heartening to hear that he’ll be following his own path moving forward. As for his former career as a sketch comic, Peele was asked if that’s in the past.
“Yes. I want to focus on writing, directing and producing.”
While this news will no doubt be a bummer to fans, there’s still plenty of opportunities for Peele to inject comedy into his future projects. After all, despite the bleak nature of Get Out, it still had a number of hilarious moments and plenty of dark humor. Meanwhile, Peele’s socially conscious approach to the horror genre may just help future films get more credit in at award shows, increasing their relevance and sense of importance to culture. It’s safe to assume that if anyone can make horror movies Oscar-worthy, it’s Peele and whatever follows Get Out.