Breakout director Jordan Peele reveals that an early draft of Get Out included a much longer opening scene. The 2017 film written and directed by Peele captivated and terrified critics and audiences alike with his take on modern day racism in America, while achieving the classic cabin-in-the-woods horror effect, leaving audiences gripped to their seats.
The film stars Daniel Kaluuya as Chris Washington, a photographer who reluctantly agrees to meet the family of his white girlfriend, Rose Armitage, played by Allison Williams. While at the family’s countryside estate, Chris witnesses strange behavior from the estate’s workers – housekeeper Georgina and groundskeeper Walter – and begins to realize he’s in terrible danger as he uncovers the truth about what the Armitages have planned for him. Get Out earned rave reviews upon released and even garnered four Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Actor for Kaluuya.
During the DGA’s 27th annual Meet the Nominees symposium, Jordan Peele revealed that Get Out‘s opening scene was originally much longer. The film opens up with a shot of a black man walking down the streets of a prominently white neighborhood, lost and noticeably uncomfortable. The situation only gets worse when a mysterious car suddenly appears and starts following him. Then, a man attacks him, knocks him out, and puts him in the trunk of his car. It’s an eerie opening scene which sets the tone for the rest of the film, but Peele originally had a much longer vision in mind.
“An early draft of this scene had a lot more going on. It was originally – there was a family inside a house [that] was having a conversation. A white family having their dinner and having a conversation about Disneyland. And this incident happens outside their house and they never realize.”
“…I decided to strip it way down because I felt that the first scene in the movie is very important, and it’s very important not to do too much. What you’re trying to get across is a feeling. And in the case of a thriller, I felt like you’re trying to offer [a] promise to the audience of what is to come. Ultimately, it became much more important for the audience to be immersed in the experience of being a black man walking down the street in a white neighborhood. …I felt like if we could start there, the audience would receive that promise and, from that point forward, know that race is the monster that we’re fearing.”
Peele made a good call deciding to ultimately not go with the Disneyland addition, it would have distracted far too much from the fear, panic and general anxiety the man feels when he’s walking down the streets of the white neighborhood. The idea of cutting to a happy family talking about Disneyland would also break the tension in a critical moment in the film that’s supposed to be dark, but it would have been interesting to see these two starkly different scenes put together to create a moment of frustration for the audience when they see the family not notice the man in danger.
Fans may get a chance to see more of Peele’s visions for Get Out in the future with talks of a possible Get Out sequel on the way. Peele confirmed that he’s “seriously considering” the possibility because he think’s there’s “more story to tell“, so maybe Peele will start out the sequel with a similar vision he had for the first film before it got cut.
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