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Jordan Peele talks difficulty of following up ‘Get Out’, his unique creative process

In a long Q&A with The Hollywood Reporter, Jordan Peele outlined his plans for what’s next in his career, his origins as an artist, and the thrills (and discontents) of comedy.

Many have been waiting for news on Peele’s next post-Get Out move, but much of the difficulty for the filmmaker is trying to replicate the success of the canonical thriller.

When asked about what’s next, Peele said he’s working on something, he’s just trying to figure out how the hell to follow up Get Out:

“I mean, you nailed it. What do I do next? How do I top this? And you know, and I think it’s important to focus on stories that are true to me. I go, when writing Get Out, my sort of mantra is or was, let’s write my favorite film I haven’t seen yet. So I think it’s easy to get sort of bogged down in how does this compare to the first one, how does that compare.”

The idea that Peele is trying to make his favorite film that he hasn’t seen yet is pretty interesting and it gives us a little glance as to what makes Peele such a great artist. He gave THR more details of his next film:

“When all is said and done, my next film, I am currently writing it and I’ll direct for Universal this year, I’m just trying to entertain myself again.”

Entertaining yourself is a pretty solid barometer for making good, or at least self-satisfactory, art. Peele went on to explain that he’s found his creative comfort zone in this unique realm where thriller, horror, action, and comedy come together and that his follow up will resemble Get Out thusly:

“One thing I know is that this is genre; and playing around with the thriller, horror, action, fun genre of intrigue is my favorite. That’s my sweet spot. So I think tonally it should resemble Get Out. That said, I want to make a completely different movie. I want to address something different than race in the next one. So yeah, every choice has really either pretty big ramifications because it is the second.”

Peele also spoke about his beginnings in improv comedy, he honed his craft at an improv group in Amsterdam, which is the most random shit ever. But Peele’s start in improv means that he has a democratic approach to art, he wants to “get everybody” in the room to like his work.

Peele explained that while he has “a ton of respect for many artists, many directors who, it almost feels like they kind of couldn’t care less what the audience feels like,” he approaches it from a different perspective.

“My sensibility is ‘Let’s get everybody.’ And so the way I kind of counteract that in not making bland material for the masses is I take huge risk in the conception. So if I can take this movie that is a horror movie about race, which is, impossible or supposed to be impossible, the greatest feat would be if I can sell this to everybody in the audience.”

You can see this creative philosophy tangibly in Get Out. Despite the film’s subversive elements, it was massively well-received. In this sense, Peele accomplished his goal of reaching everyone, but damn sure took some risks in its conception.

Read the full interview over at THR.