Jordan Peele‘s is the new master of horror. “Us” hit theaters last weekend and it was an instant box office smash. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Universal film brought in $70.3 million in ticket sales, which is the largest debut for an original horror film. The movie starred Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke, who were both in “Black Panther,” as a married couple who are being haunted by alternate versions of themselves.
Just like Daniel Kaluuya, the star of Peele’s 2017 blockbuster “Get Out” who won an Oscar nomination for his role, Black actors are starring in all of the filmmaker’s movies. And, according to the 40-year-old actor, producer and director, you will only see more of that from him.
Peele spoke at the East Hollywood at improv mecca Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre on Monday and discussed the power of casting Black people as leads in his films, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
“The way I look at it, I get to cast Black people in my movies,” he said. “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.”
He also added, “I don’t see myself casting a white dude as the lead in my movie. Not that I don’t like white dudes but I’ve seen that movie. 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.”
This is certainly a winning formula for Peele. When the trailer dropped for “Us” in December, he told Entertainment Weekly, “I definitely wanted to do a movie that started with this sense of invasion, this sense of the fear of other, the fear of the stranger from outside, which I think is a common fear in society these days, and then sort of force the characters to realize the invaders have their faces. I didn’t want to make just a home invasion, though I utilized that imagery. I wanted the sense of an adventure that was not necessarily a claustrophobic one — that’s a feeling that turns me off watching. I wanted to make this expansive, I wanted it to have themes of night and day.”