Get Out writer-director Jordan Peele is getting out of the acting business, choosing instead to focus on his work behind the camera. Without question, the mystery thriller Get Out is one of the biggest surprises of 2017, not only in terms of sheer box office magnitude – it made $254.6 million worldwide against a $4.5 million production budget – but in its highly successful awards season run. Not only has the film received multiple nominations from the likes of the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards and the Golden Globes, it landed Peele one of the most coveted honors in the film business with a nomination for the upcoming Director's Guild of America Awards.
The impressive thing about Peele's DGA nomination is that it comes with his first-ever directing project. And while he's done a fair amount of writing, mostly on the sketch comedy series Key and Peele and MadTV, Peele has mainly attracted attention over the years as an actor. Among his long list of credits is Key and Peele and big-screen spoof Keanu, both with his comedy partner Keegan-Michael Key, as well as the animated feature Captain Underpants: The Epic First Movie and the acclaimed animated Netflix comedy Big Mouth.
But with all of the impressive notices Peele has received as a result of Get Out, it appears that he's ready to leave his acting career behind. According to EW, Peele reveals in a segment for this coming weekend's CBS This Morning program that moving forward, he's solely concentrating on filmmaking. Alluding to a certain legendary actor's proclamation that Phantom Thread was his last film, Peele's going the same route, saying:
“That’s the idea. Daniel Day-Lewis and I are both out. Acting is just nowhere near as fun for me as directing.”
The announcement will likely come as a shock to Peele's fans, especially of his work with Key. The pair truly had great on-screen chemistry, and unless he changes his mind, Peele's retirement means no more projects with his longtime comedy partner. Of course, Peele could still direct Key in projects, but by lacking Peele's on-screen presence, the working relationship will simply never be the same. Peele didn't specifically allude to walking away from doing voice roles, so perhaps there's a chance that he and Key could reunite in that venue.
On the upside, Peele with Get Out has shown his gifts as a writer and director, and it will be interesting to see what new and exciting ideas he will come up with next. As a frontrunner for a Best Director nod at the Oscar nominations next week because of his DGA notice (and most certainly a bevy of nominations for Get Out, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay), you can't blame Peele for taking the big leap away from acting and into directing full time because the opportunity is as wide open as ever. True, there's the old saying, "All actors want to do is direct," but in Peele's case, since he's shown as clear talent in the area, he needs to charge ahead with no hesitation.