Jordan Peele is on a goddamn roll. Us, his superbly oblique horror follow-up to Get Out, is a massive success, his Twilight Zone reboot premieres next week, and the guy still has a shit-ton of Nazi-hunting shows and Lovecraft County adaptations and unofficial Key & Peele reunions in the pipeline. Peele has already cemented his place as one of the greatest and most prolific filmmakers in the business, and it sounds like he's going to keep using his growing fame to push Hollywood in a better direction—by refusing to make movies starring yet another white dude.
"I feel fortunate to be in this position where I can say to Universal, 'I want to make a $20 million horror movie with a black family.' And they say yes," Peele said during a Q&A in Los Angeles on Monday, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
"I don’t see myself casting a white dude as the lead in my movie. Not that I don’t like white dudes—but I've seen that movie."
"It really is one of the best, greatest pieces of this story, is feeling like we are in this time," Peele went on, as the audience reportedly cheered. "A renaissance has happened and proved the myths about representation in the industry are false."
During the conversation, Peele also spoke about his long path to success, starting with a stint at MadTV and a missed opportunity to join the SNL cast, which apparently led to a stretch of time he spent getting blazed in his room and scheming "like a comic book supervillain." Eventually, those schemes turned into a shit-ton of screenplays—one of which wound up becoming Get Out.
"Every two weeks I'd go, 'What the fuck am I doing? I'm writing a movie where a black man is victimized and all the white people are evil and I'm trying to get the audience to have fun,'" Peele said of Get Out. "But if you could make that fun… that's what brought me back."
Peele didn't tease any new projects during the chat, but whatever else he's got cooking, it's safe to say it won't put another Extremely Successful White Male in the spotlight. Apologies to everyone dreaming of an Us spinoff starring Tim Heidecker or whatever. In any case, let's hope Peele pens Lupita Nyong'o another star vehicle sometime soon—her turn as Adelaide and Red in Us better earn her both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars, for the freaky dancing alone.
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