Peele recently spoke to Empire about the film about what sparked the idea, saying it came from the phrase “we are our own worst enemy.” He didn’t elaborate about who the “we” is because he says moviegoers will understand it when they see the film.
“The movie itself is answering that question,” Peele says. “I can’t say it’s not specifically about race, but I don’t want to go too deep into its meaning because it’s there for everybody to discover on their own.”
The film tackles race without being solely about the topic of race.
“There’s hasn’t been a horror film about a black family, that I can remember. I think that’s an important thing to note,” he says.
“We have a lot of films in this genre where a family meets a monster, but the fact we’ve never seen a black family in that situation is a problem to me,” he continues. “There’s a presumption in the industry that if black people are the leads in a film it has to be in some way about race. I want to show that we can push past that.”
He went on to describe Us as a “horror film without any caveats,” which is different than Get Out which had elements of the genre. He also explained the importance of horror movies to our culture.
“Horror films are important. They’re ways that we as society face our fears. Personally, they serve as a way for me to acknowledge the dark thoughts floating inside of me,” Peele says.
The release for the highly-anticipated film was pushed back to build more anticipation and press for the film.
Us stars Lupita Nyong’o (Black Panther), Winston Duke (Black Panther), Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men, The Handmaid’s Tale) and Tim Heidecker (Ant-Man And The Wasp). The film later announced additional cast members. Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex, Madison Curry, Cali Sheldon, Noelle Sheldon and Duke Nicholson (Jack Nicholson’s grandson) will be joining the cast.
Peele’s first film Get Out was a huge hit, getting a 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Jordan Peele also became the first African-American writer-director to earn a $100 million debut. Additionally, Peele earned the highest grossing debut project for a writer-director with an original screenplay.
Peele also won an Oscar for Writing (Original Screenplay) at last year’s ceremony.
Us premieres in theaters on March 22 after its launch at SXSW on March 8.
Check out the trailer for the film below.