Jordan Peele signs first-look deal with Universal
Universal Pictures today announced that the studio has entered into a first-look production agreement with writer, director, performer and Emmy Award-winning producer Jordan Peele and his Monkeypaw Productions banner. Peele’s debut feature, Universal’s Get Out, opened No. 1 at the domestic box office in February. The thriller has become a commercial and critical success, grossing more than $194 million worldwide and now stands as the highest-grossing movie ever for a feature debut – from a writer/director with an original screenplay. The announcement was made by Donna Langley, Chairman, Universal Pictures.
“Through extraordinary imagination and fearless humor, Jordan has proven himself to be a game-changer who is driven to tell stories that are as commercially entertaining as they are disruptive and provocative,” said Langley. “The entire Universal family takes great pride in his incomparable filmmaking debut, and feel fortunate that this studio will be Jordan’s home for many years to come.”
Under the new first-look deal, Universal is developing Peele’s next film, an untitled social thriller, which he will write, direct and produce based on his original idea. In addition, Peele will also produce a wide range of films for the studio through his Monkeypaw Productions, including several microbudget projects on which he will partner with Jason Blum as he did on Get Out.
“I’m incredibly honored to be partnering with Donna, Peter and all of the brilliant folks at Universal,” said Peele. “I am thrilled to continue the work we started together on ‘Get Out’ – pushing the boundaries of storytelling, not only on the next film but with all of Monkeypaw’s future projects.”
Monkeypaw Productions was founded by Peele in 2012 with the aim to tell stories in comedy, horror and all genres in-between, and to give platforms to untapped voices in those mediums. Previously in television, Monkeypaw produced Key & Peele on Comedy Central, and upcoming has the Tracy Morgan Comedy series at TBS. In addition to Get Out in the feature space, Monkeypaw previously produced Keanu.
Peele was the co-star and co-creator of the Emmy-winning Key & Peele. The hit series garnered more than 1 billion online hits and won a Peabody Award, an American Comedy Award, and earned 12 Emmy Award nominations during its five season run. Peele also recurred on the FX series Fargo and was a series regular on FOX’s MADtv where he received an Emmy nomination for songwriting.