Jordan Peele achieved a new level of success when his 2017 film Get Out earned an Oscar and several rave reviews from critics. The acclaimed director did all he could to produce a follow-up film that wouldn’t disappoint his fans, including massively increasing the budget for his newly released movie, Us. So far, Us hasn’t disappointed, and earned $70 million during its opening weekend.
However, Peele recently experienced some backlash for a few comments he made during a speech he gave to students when he was speaking in Hollywood at the Upright Citizens Brigade this week. Peele’s two hit productions are both horror films that feature black actors in his leading roles. Also, both of his films became box office record-breaking hits when they were released. With one Oscar for his first film Get Out under his belt, it’s hard to argue that Peele’s film formulas aren’t working. Whatever the director is doing, it seems to be creating massive amounts of success for him.
Peele also completed a reboot of the Twilight Zone, which debuts next week on the CBS All Access network. With all of those feats now under his belt, he has quickly become one of the most acclaimed directors on the planet, and many feel that has to do with his unique and diverse casting choices. While people often wonder how Peele will approach his movies in the future, he recently addressed that question by announcing he wants to keep using his acclaim to create stories that aren’t led by white individuals.
During Peele’s speech at the Upright Citizens Brigade, he explained how his achievements have given him opportunity to make his own filmmaking choices. One of the choices he plans to continue utilizing is to cast black actors in leading roles. The director also previously explained that his new film, Us, didn’t focus on race as much as his 2017 film Get Out did, but he still wanted a black family as the focus of Us.
“I don’t see myself casting a white dude as the lead in my movie,” Peele said, according to AV Club News. “Not that I don’t like white dudes, but I’ve seen that movie.”
"Us" director Jordan Peele is using his power to avoid casting white men as leads because "I've seen that movie." https://t.co/cj0ujeTkxZ— HuffPost BlackVoices (@blackvoices) March 27, 2019
Peele may have a point, and his unique way of creating his films certainly offers a new perspective each time he produces a movie. Certainly, many feel it is one of the reasons he has become so popular at such a fast rate.
Peele’s talk at UCB seemed to extend that particular conversation, with the filmmaker explaining that he has no intention of making movies with white actors in leading roles anytime soon.
“The way I look at it, I get to cast black people in my movies. 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, according to AV Club News.