Despite originally rising to prominence through his work in the comedy genre, the last few years have seen Jordan Peele establish himself as one of the horror genre’s leading lights, with his two directorial efforts to date achieving huge success both critically and commercially.
Get Out became one of the few horror movies to gain awards season recognition, with Peele winning the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay alongside further nominations for Best Picture and Best Director. Follow-up Us didn’t get quite as much love from awards bodies, but still received universally positive reviews and made over $250 million at the box office, definitively establishing Peele as a force to be reckoned with in the genre.
His third feature may not have been officially announced yet, but the 41 year-old has nonetheless been keeping himself busy by lending his voice to Toy Story 4, serving as the creative driving force behind The Twilight Zone’s recent revival and producing the likes of Amazon’s Hunters, the Candyman reboot and Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman, the latter of which saw him score another Academy Award nod.
Besides the fact that his next two movies are set up at Universal under their first-look deal with his Monkeypaw Productions company, information about what Peele is cooking up next is pretty thin on the ground, but we’ve now heard that one of the biggest stars in the business is being eyed for the lead role.
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According to our sources – the same ones who told us Bill Murray is returning for Ghostbusters: Afterlife and a new Scream movie is in the works, both of which we now know to be true – Peele’s latest directorial effort is starting to come together behind the scenes and he’s reportedly talking to Will Smith for the central part. And while nothing can be confirmed just yet, as they’re only in talks, that would make for a hugely interesting proposition.
Not only would having an A-list star like Smith in the lead create more interest and visibility for the project, but the horror genre would mark unproven ground for the actor. Too often it seems as though Will Smith coasts by on his natural charisma without really sinking his teeth into a character and a collaboration with Jordan Peele would no doubt mark an exciting change of pace.