Even if you are unfamiliar with his face or his name, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t know his work. Half of the comedy duo “Key and Peele”, their sketches have amassed millions of views since they were uploaded online after their show. The voice of Bunny in Toy Story 4 and the mastermind behind Get Out and the reboot of The Twilight Zone. Jordan Peele has made a name for himself and cannot easily be placed into one box.
From his work on the oscar-nominated Get Out, which won him the best original screenplay accolade and his follow up Us. He has also made a name for himself and his production company in the horror genre, producing the upcoming Candyman reboot.
Who is he?
Peele got his break on Mad TV, a sketch comedy show, where he also met Keegan-Michael Key. The two would then go on to make their own sketch show Key and Peele which ran from 2012 to 2015, and several skits went viral online. Their success spawned Keanu a buddy comedy where the two rescue a cat from gangsters. It received positive reviews and the duo continued acting together, playing FBI agents in the first season of Fargo and stuffed fairground toys in Toy Story 4.
While his comedy had made him well known, he has also made a name for himself in the horror genre with his directorial debut Get Out. A social thriller tackling race issues, it had a great buzz and earned Oscar nominations. Peele won for Best Original Screenplay making him the first African American to win the award.
In an interview, Peele compared his comedy background to his horror feature, and how the genres have some things in common. How both are often used to shine a light on society and issues, and how they often hinge on reveals. While they are usually considered opposites, they are rather alike and humour is often sprinkled into his films. He carried this into his next film Us. Where Get Out dealt with race, this focused on class and privilege. It also received great reviews, although no Oscar nominations.
Peele’s work often has something to say, which is apparent in his films as well as The Twilight Zone, an anthology which usually ends with a twist and a moral. Peele narrates the series, in place of Rod Serling, who gives the opening and closing narration to each episode,
In 2012, Peele founded Monkeypaw Productions, which produced the series Key and Peele as well as the duo’s feature film Keanu which Peele wrote and starred in. Peele has slowly stopped acting, finding directing more fun. It probably helps this his two efforts so far, Get Out and Us have been hugely successful, both having scored over 80 on Metacritic.
As well as his own work, Monkeypaw also produces work from other writers, with them producing Spike Lee’s BlackKklansmen as well as the upcoming Candyman reboot. They are also involved in the latest iteration of The Twilight Zone, with Peele also narrating. Several other projects are also in development, like Lovecraft Country and the second season of Amazon’s Hunters.
Peele doesn’t seem like he is going anywhere anytime soon. Although he is moving away from acting he is still actively writing, producing and has ideas for his next few films already. Some of his sketches have had features developed around them for a while, but time will tell if anything comes of them. Most people are likely excited for his next feature, although he appears to be focused on Candyman which he is producing. There are currently no hints as to what his next feature could be, but it’s sure to be excellent.
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