Earlier in March, Jordan Peele, just off the smash opening of the searingly comic and relevantly horrific Get Out, replied “never say never” to a question about whether he’d get back into sketch comedy at any point. (Key & Peele, the show that made him and Keegan-Michael Key some of the most revered figures in comedy, ended in September 2015.) In a new interview with the Hollywood Reporter, which took place before Peele was awarded Director of the Year at CinemaCon, Peele adds some clarity to his statement.
The question about his future in sketch (or, apparently, never-again-in-sketch) came by way of a discussion of Peele’s Obama impersonation, which led to a question about whether he’s considered impersonating Trump — to which he responded, “I’m sure I’d have a fun time doing it if I did, but I’m happy to not be in sketch comedy right now.”
From there, the interviewer cut to the chase, asking, “Is your sketch comedy career over?”
“Yes. I want to focus on writing, directing and producing,” was Peele’s reply. Given his superlative first feature directorial endeavor, I think it’s safe to say that it doesn’t seem like too much of a loss, particularly when you consider what else Peele has said about his filmmaking trajectory. He told ABC news last month, “I feel like it is my purest form of expression so far and I love it…I’ve got several different social thrillers I want to make.”
The THR talk is wide in its scope, touching on questions that Get Out has spurred about genre, racial violence and representation. One particularly pointed part of the talk comes when Peele and the interviewer discuss who gets to be the protagonists of what kind of movies. Peele said:
Get Out is fresh and novel and new because at the base level it has a black, male protagonist in a horror movie. It is no mistake that the iconic image from this movie is Daniel’s face with tears streaming down his cheeks. We haven’t seen that before. Usually in horror movies — as in Blair Witch — it is the white girl’s crying face.
When asked if he’s getting meaty offers to direct now, Peele refers to a rush of opportunities having opened up, but emphasizes that his interest is in directing films he’s also written. He said, “I really want to continue to nurture my own voice. I love writing, so I’m not in any rush. I am a huge fan of Quentin Tarantino, who takes time to figure out what his next movie is.”
It may be a while before specific news of another Peele movie comes out, it’s likely it’ll to be just as socially probing and meticulous as Get Out, which he also spent years writing.