The next time you complain about being busy, take a look at Jordan Peele’s IMDb page. The Get Out screenwriter has a ridiculously packed schedule, which I’d say is usually what happens when you win an Oscar for your directorial debut, except how often does that happen? Peele, who produced Spike Lee’s magnetic BlacKkKlansman, is writing and directing Us; starring in puppet horror movie Abruptio; lending his voice to Henry Selick’s Wendell and Wild and season two of Big Mouth; and producing HBO’s Lovecraft Country, Amazon’s The Hunt, and, oh yeah, The Twilight Zone for CBS All Access.
Like I said, busy guy, but Peele still found a moment to talk to Variety about, among other topics, why Hollywood’s obsession with sequels and brands, and general lack of imagination, could be considered a good thing.
“There has been a lack of imagination in Hollywood, which sets us up to bring in really new, creative ways of storytelling,” he said. “The imagination, especially, when we talk about representation, has been dull. For years and years and years, there’s this preconceived notion that diversity presents a struggle for projects. Well, the truth is, we haven’t invested in diversity. We haven’t invested in artists. So there’s a lack of courage, and I think, when you take leaps and you bring courage and confidence to projects, it works.” In other words:
Peele also discussed his Twilight Zone reboot, which he said he was initially terrified to take on. “Why would I ever jump into the most established, pristine shoes in all of the genre?” he worried. “I could rip Twilight Zone off and call it something different and not be compared to Rod Serling.” Peele stepped away from the project before realizing “it was an opportunity to attempt to continue with Serling’s mission. If we approach it without ego and sort of bow to Serling, that will hopefully suffice for our fellow Twilight Zone fans, but also bring back a show that I think is needed right now. Because it’s a show that has always helped us look at ourselves, hold a mirror up to society.” Also, the gremlins.