Jordan Peele’s highly-anticipated film “Us” hit theater on Friday. The film is facing sky-high expectations, thanks to the massive success of Peele’s debut film, “Get Out.”
becoming the most profitable film of 2017. The film also earned Peele an Oscar for best original screenplay, making him the first African-American to win the award.
“Us” had a substantially larger budget of $20 million. In order for “Us” to be as profitable as “Get Out,” the film would need to earn around $270 million.
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The writer, director and comedian spoke with Indie Wire about the difference in budget negotiations the second time around. “The cards were kind of in my hands,” Peele says. “It didn’t feel like an audition. It was me telling them, ‘This is what I want to do, this is where I want to do it, how’s that sound?'”
The director says he wanted a budget that afforded him the perfect amount of creative freedom.
“I was like, look, I want to be able to take my filmmaking up a notch, so I want to be able to make a bigger budget movie,” he explains. “But I don’t want to make such a big budget movie that all of a sudden we’ve crossed this line where the risk means you’re going to be f—–g with my story.”
He continues, “I had about five times the budget on this one, which by movie standards is still not that expensive of a film. That was the key for me. Otherwise, I may not have had my freedom. As a filmmaker, I also thrive with a certain restriction. I didn’t want to overreach with the budget and all of a sudden have a studio being responsible on me.”