Get Out: Director Jordan Peele’s Hot Film, Generating Oscar Buzz

Jordan Peele began developing the script for his hit Get Out in 2008, during what he refers to as a “post-racial lie.”

“When I was writing this, people were saying, ‘Racism is done,'” said Peele, who began scripting the thriller during the beginning of the Obama administration. He contended: “But at the same time, the President was being questioned if he was American.”

During a conversation with Elvis Mitchell at the Directors Guild of America for the Film Independent Forum, Peele discussed the process of creating a social thriller that was accurate to the contemporary black experience.

Get Out follows a black man, Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), meeting his white girlfriend’s family for the first time at their home in upstate Ne York, where he discovers a disturbing reality about the family and their suburban community.

Jordan Peele at Sunday's Produced By panel

“Part of the black identity is the horror of America,” said Peele, adding that he wanted his movie to be rooted in the racism that is found in everyday life, as opposed to the hyperbolic bigotry that is often portrayed in Hollywood films. “I thought, what if I didn’t take it to typical type of racism, the white superiority — the Trumpism — but what if it was the other side of that. What if the type of racism that I am exploring is micro aggression.”

Most Commercial Film of 2017:

By the logic of input-output, Get Out is the year’s most commercially profitable film. Since its February 24 release by Universal, the Blumhouse production has grossed $253 million on a $4.5 million budget.

The film, which was both a commercial and critical success, is receiving awards buzz, along with Peele, best known for the Comedy Central series Key & Peele.

Peele discussed how the B-movie horror genre was the perfect vehicle to deliver his social thriller, allowing him the space to subvert tropes of the genre, including one of the “white savior.”

Initially, Peele worried that the movie would be seen as an intentionally divisive piece of filmmaking.

“The system itself and society is the monster here,” he said. “That to me is the thrill of this genre.  Get Out is a film that explores the horror of society. Human beings and the way we interact is the bad guy.”