For Jordan Peele, the ‘Nope’ score provides the ‘spectacle and the spectrum’ to launch his first and only major studio film.
For a moment, Jordan Peele’s script called “Us” would be the perfect story of how the new, diverse America could be brought back to its glory days by a well-heeled, white, middle-class white man.
But then the opening scene came. It was the first scene in any movie that Peele himself was ever in.
It was 2017, and at a fundraiser during the Sundance film festival, Peele met a small but loyal audience of black folk, some of whom had previously avoided his films because of its subject matter, including death.
He took the stage where the gathering filled an entire room. And as its only black person, he was surrounded by those who were trying to come to terms with the loss of their families.
Later in the night, after he’d received a standing ovation, he took the stage again. This time, he had the entire audience in the room with him. He wanted to honor their response to his work with one last moment of silence, just for one final time.
It was one of those moments that was a kind of catharsis, something that could’ve felt great and sad and hopeful all at the same time. A moment that was one of the best of his life.
“Us” is the best movie he’s ever made. It’s his second-highest-grossing movie. But more importantly, it’s his first major studio film.
And it’s the first time he’s been in a room that wasn’t a room, with the exception of maybe his very first job interview.
“Us” had its first preview on June 22, 2017. Peele and his co-writer Bruce Cohen, who is black, screened the film with an audience at the Sundance Film Festival. Peele’s wife, Chi McBride, had her hand in the audience, as he introduced Cohen and McBride.
“I have to give you this,” P