We’re nearing the midpoint of the cinematic year, and Jordan Peele‘s microbudget horror “Get Out” remains one of the most talked about success stories of 2017. Made for a slim $4.5 million, the film has earned a whopping $214 million worldwide, and will likely add to that bottom line when it’s released on home video next week. Hollywood is knocking on Peele’s door, and this spring he was sought by Warner Bros. to helm their long developing, live action take on the anime classic “Akira.” However, you can rest easy — Peele isn’t going to be swallowed up by the blockbuster machine anytime soon.
Speaking with Blumhouse, Peele revealed why he has turned down “Akira,” and where he wants to put his career focus right now.
“I think [I could do it] if the story justifies it. ‘Akira’ is one of my favorite movies, and I think obviously the story justifies as big a budget as you can possibly dream of. But the real question for me is: Do I want to do pre-existing material, or do I want to do original content? At the end of the day, I want to do original stuff,” Peele said.
Smart man, and don’t expect “Get Out 2” either. Jason Blum, the producer on the film, has said he’s not pushing Peele for a follow-up, and from a story perspective, “cannot imagine what the sequel would be.” So, where is Peele going next?
He’s found an open door at HBO, where Deadline reports that his Monkeypaw Productions will team with J.J. Abrams‘ Bad Robot for “Lovecraft Country.” Based on the book by Matt Ruff, the one-hour drama will mix historical drama and supernatural elements, as it follows Atticus Black who goes in search of his missing father in 1950s Jim Crow America. Here’s the book synopsis:
Chicago, 1954. When his father Montrose goes missing, 22-year-old Army veteran Atticus Turner embarks on a road trip to New England to find him, accompanied by his Uncle George—publisher of The Safe Negro Travel Guide—and his childhood friend Letitia. On their journey to the manor of Mr. Braithwhite—heir to the estate that owned one of Atticus’s ancestors—they encounter both mundane terrors of white America and malevolent spirits that seem straight out of the weird tales George devours.
At the manor, Atticus discovers his father in chains, held prisoner by a secret cabal named the Order of the Ancient Dawn—led by Samuel Braithwhite and his son Caleb—which has gathered to orchestrate a ritual that shockingly centers on Atticus. And his one hope of salvation may be the seed of his—and the whole Turner clan’s—destruction.
That sounds right up Peele’s alley, and HBO is so excited they’ve given the project a straight-to-series order. For now, Peele will be producing, with Misha Green (“Underground“) writing the pilot and acting as showrunner. Very exciting stuff, and we’re happy to see Peele pursue projects that are creatively inspired, rather than chasing big commercial gigs.