Jordan Peele isn't interested in making big budget tentpoles — a bold statement, given the runaway success of Get Out. The film marked his directorial debut after making a name for himself on Comedy Central sketch show Key & Peele. Despite its measly $4.5 million price tag — and the fact that multiple studios passed on it before landing with Blumhouse Productions — Get Out was a certified hit, raking in universal acclaim and a staggering $229 million box office sweep.
Much of the praise stemmed from Get Out's profound twist on the horror genre, transforming a terrifying thriller into a thought-provoking reflection on race relations in America. It starred Daniel Kaluuya as Chris Washington, a black man visiting the his girlfriend Rose's (Allison Williams) estate for the first time, where her seemingly well-meaning family is hiding more sinister intentions.
It's one of the most widely lauded movies thus far this year, and Peele has free reign to take on any number of blockbuster projects - but in an interview with THR, Peele says that he's taking things step by step for now:
"The most important thing for me is maintaining as much of the virtues of the process of Get Out as possible. My goal and plan is to rise in budget slowly. It doesn’t make any sense for me to jump to an enormous budget when it changes the process entirely. I pinch myself and realize how lucky I am to be able to have created something. And if I can do that again, isn’t that the best?"
He adds that while a larger budget would grant him access to higher caliber resources, he feels that being restrained by smaller funds keeps him focused on getting every detail right:
"At that budget, I could actually make Get Out how I wanted to make it and not have people looking over my shoulder trying to make sure I got every piece of it right."
It's an unconventional proclamation, but not one that's not all that surprising giving Peele's previous comments. He recently passed on directing the live-action adaptation of cult classic Akira in order to pursue original ideas, making clear that it's his work, not the money, that's driving him. Now, he has another social thriller on the calendar for March 2019. At $25 million, it's certainly a leap from Get Out, but still modest by Hollywood standards. He told THR, it's "a very different movie than Get Out," but it shouldn't be any less brilliant. If Peele can make something like Get Out with under $5 million, there's no telling what he can do with a budget five times that size, and that he's still just as committed to quality and intent makes it all the more impressive.