Jordan Peele Considered Making ‘Us’ about One Person Rather Than a Family

     January 17, 2020


The other night we celebrated Jordan Peele’s Us with a Collider FYC screening and Q&A at The Dome at the ArcLight Hollywood. We already shared Peele’s comments regarding the next step of the Tethered’s plan after the uprising, but now we’re backtracking to highlight a key development during the scripting process for Peele. 

When asked for the biggest difference between draft one of Us and the final version of the film, Peele admitted that there were some pretty wild drafts along the way. He further clarified, “And by ‘draft’ I mean thoughts of where this could go. I didn’t actually put these crazy versions to paper necessarily.”


Image via Universal Pictures

One of these versions actually focused on a single main character rather than a family of four: 

“I was toying around with a version of this that was much more stripped down and didn’t have the family. It was a one-on-one doppelgänger horror stalker story. And I was exploring that for several months and I kept coming back to this idea that that image of four doppelgängers, it carries with it this really profound truth to it.


For those four people to exist that are the exact same age and look exactly like my family, for that to be grounded in any way, it would require that I had sex with my wife on the same moment and the same sort of genetic being came from our relationship and our love. So that to me created this idea of this tether of fate which I thought was a very interesting idea; that in order for a doppelgänger to exist, there would have to be this metaphysical connection that was kind of crazier and deeper than something we could understand and put somewhere between religion and science.”

Peele most certainly has a point there! While I’d like to bet Peele could have knocked a contained, one-on-one narrative out of the park, the reveal of an entire family of doppelgängers instantly adds more history, questions and layers. Plus, one of my personal favorite components of Us is the family dynamic. Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex make for a stellar ensemble that effortlessly weaves from horror to comedy to heart and back again. 

If you’re looking for even more behind-the-scenes details on Us, we’ve got you covered! We’ll share the full post-screening Q&A with Peele on shortly. But, if you want more Collider FYC conversations right now, we’ve got the Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Q&A with Quentin Tarantino, Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio up and running right here. 

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