It’s settled — Jordan Peele is a fucking force.
Fresh off the highly successful opening weekend of his second feature, Us, he’s not only making a lovely profit, but has fully cemented himself into the cultural zeitgeist. With. His. First. Two. Feature. Films.
White Hollywood, let that sink in and wash your hands of the saltiness borne from that lie you keep telling us about non-marketable black-led, black-driven films.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, the following occurred during a conversation series hosted by Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre on Monday:
“I don’t see myself casting a white dude as the lead in my movie. Not that I don’t like white dudes,” he said, nodding over to his moderator pal Roberts. “But I’ve seen that movie.” The line drew loud applause and shouts of agreement. “It really is one of the best, greatest pieces of this story, is feeling like we are in this time — a renaissance has happened and proved the myths about representation in the industry are false.”
He’s seen that movie. We’ve seen that movie. Fifty-leven times to be exact, but who’s counting? Sure, like most systemic racist practices of modern times, an acclaimed white male director would likely never declare the reverse statement out loud—he’d just... do it anyway.
Like clockwork, those aforementioned “white dudes” took a short break from soaking in their regularly scheduled mayo bath and expressed just how pissed they were. For example:
Since Us was such a massive hit ($85 million and counting), I propose yet another film starring a white dude entitled, Them. Oh, don’t worry about congestion, there’s plenty of room!
Axel Wilson, a cis hetero white man, frequently takes his family, Gretchen (wife), Zadie (daughter), and Jake (son) to the lake house every summer. However, Axel is hiding a deep-seated childhood trauma, in which his parents told him “no” that one time. Years of burying said trauma finally culminates into a terrifying unleashing of creepy doppelgängers known as the “Heathered,” who have been terrorized by white women threatening to call the manager. The family must band together to defeat the Heathered before it’s too late— because next thing you’ll know, the Academy will be giving a couple Oscar statuettes to a few black folks before going back to whitewashing the ceremony for years on end. Can’t have that blip in the radar!
Get your popcorn ready. Them—coming to theaters during White History Month, also known as every other month except maybe February, where a white president celebrates his birthday.
“The way I look at it,” Peele noted at the UCB panel. “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.”