Filmmaker Jordan Peele has been very much in demand after his brilliant directorial debut, Get Out, grossed $172 million earlier this year against a budget of just $5 million. He’s no doubt been approached by studios to take on major projects, with Warner Bros. reportedly approaching him about directing Akira, but it looks like the filmmaker will refreshingly be sticking to something else smaller but no less important for his next project.
Per THR, Peele has now signed a first-look deal with Universal Pictures, which lays claim to his next project: another untitled social thriller that Peele will write, direct, and produce just as he did Get Out. No plot details are revealed just yet, but this film is said to be on a bit of a bigger canvas with a budget closer to $25 million than the $5 million of his debut. Indeed, while doing press for Get Out Peele revealed that he’d already written a handful of other “social thrillers” as he calls them—films that have a horror-thriller vibe, but also speak to some truth about the world we live in.
Speaking on Variety’s Playback Podcast earlier this year, Peele revealed that these other social thrillers he’s written will each deal with a different “monster” of humanity:
“I wanna stay in the genre. While I was developing [Get Out] I was also simultaneously developing four other projects that I call social thrillers. Each one is meant to deal with a different human demon; a different monster that sort of lurks underneath the way that we interact with one another as human beings. So I hope to soon direct another one of these social thrillers—it’s not gonna be about race, it’ll be about something else, but it’s gonna be very cinematic and fun… To come up with the perfect monster for a horror movie we really need to look no further than the monster that is all of us. Not so much an individual psycho killer, but the humanity that gets lost between us.”
So just because Get Out tackled race in a phenomenal manner doesn’t mean Peele is only interested in talking about that topic, and I’m incredibly curious to see what “monster” he’s chosen for this next project.
As part of the first-look deal, Peele will also produce a wide range of projects, with a key aspect being that Peele will shepherd other micro-budget projects with Jason Blum, who produced Get Out. The idea here is to give “a voice and opportunities to those traditionally under-represented in front and behind the camera, be it gender, race or sexual orientation.”
In a day and age where filmmakers who make buzzy Sundance movies get snatched up to go and direct a Jurassic Park sequelboot or the next Marvel movie, it’s incredibly refreshing not only to see Peele interested in telling more social-minded, creatively ambitious projects, but also to see him using his success to help carve a path for those that too often find themselves on the outside looking in. More of this, please.