The relationship between Jordan Peele and Universal has been helpful for both. Universal seems to have largely stayed out of Peele’s way to let him make what he wants, and in return, his two directing efforts—Get Out and Us—have made over $500 million worldwide. It only makes sense that the relationship between Universal and Peele’s production company, Monkeypay Productions, would continue.
Universal has sent out a press release announcing that they’ve entered into a five-year, exclusive partnership with Monkeypaw. The big takeaway from this deal is buried a little further in the press release, which reveals that Peele’s next two movies will be set up at Universal. Again, none of this is surprising, but it’s good to know that Peele’s next two pictures, which he will write, direct, and produce, have a studio commitment, and it’s from a studio that knows how to let the filmmaker do his thing while coming up with strong marketing campaigns.
It will be interesting to see if Universal does anything with Us this awards season. Get Out was a sleeper hit that demanded awards recognition, while Us, although still well-received, wasn’t taken as the same kind of groundbreaking movie that stayed with audiences. Universal also seems to have other awards contenders for 2019, specifically 1917 and, because we live in a very silly world, Cats. That’s not to say Us will receive no attention, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if the studio put its energies elsewhere.
The upside for Universal is that they don’t need Peele for prestige movies when his pictures are huge hits at the box office and his brand can sell movies. Get Out made $176 million domestic and Us made $175 million domestic. He lost none of his audience between movies, and it’s a smart move to bet on his future projects whatever they may be.