Jordan Peele explains how his new movie, Us, is not about race. In 2017, the former star of Comedy Central’s Key & Peele announced himself as a unique filmmaking talent with box office smash Get Out. That project, as most know, was a satirical and terrifying exploration of racism in America, impressing audiences and critics with its deft handling of its themes and sharp direction from Peele. Get Out was nominated for Best Picture at last year’s Oscars and Peele took home the award for Best Original Screenplay, immediately making his next effort highly anticipated amongst cinephiles.
That film, Us, is set to premiere in just a couple of months (as of this writing) and has plenty of people buzzing thanks to the well-received trailer that debuted over Christmas. In some respects, Us bears certain similarities to Get Out, primarily in the sense that they follow everyday people who get caught up in an increasingly bizarre (and horrifying) situation that isn’t what it seems at first glance. However, there are some key differences between the two, and Peele opened up about one in particular.
“It’s important to me that we can tell black stories without it being about race. I realized I had never seen a horror movie of this kind, where there’s an African-American family at the center that just is. After you get over the initial realization that you’re watching a black family in a horror film, you’re just watching a movie. You’re just watching people. I feel like it proves a very valid and different point than Get Out, which is, not everything is about race. Get Out proved the point that everything is about race. I’ve proved both points!”
There’s no denying Peele offered entertaining and insightful commentary on race in Get Out, but it’s great to see him expand his horizons and tackle different subject matter on Us. With Peele’s comments in mind, Us should prove to be a refreshing entry in the horror genre, giving audiences a brand new perspective to experience the story through. That may ultimately make it more of a game-changer than Get Out, as it sounds like it has the potential to significantly change what movies starring predominantly African-American casts can be and talk about. Peele is perhaps the best director working today to pull this off, especially since he has one crowd-pleasing hit under his belt already. No matter what he did for a Get Out followup, general audiences were going to be onboard. That Peele’s looking to help cinema continue to evolve is admirable.
And though Us isn’t about race, it doesn’t mean Peele is going to shortchange viewers on substance. When Us was first announced, it was a mysterious “Untitled Social Thriller,” implying Peele has something much deeper in mind than a family doing battle against evil versions of themselves. The trailer includes the tag line “we are our own worst enemy,” which may provide some clues about what Peele has in store. Of course, odds are all won’t be revealed until Us hits the big screen and viewers, so for now, fans will have to theorize.
Source: Rolling Stone