When a filmmaker comes out of the gate with a film that’s universally loved by audiences, lauded by critics and is financially successful as ‘Get Out’ was in 2017, it’s rare to see a director follow it up with something comparable.
Jordan Peele, the writer, projector and director of ‘Us,’ did just that with the release of his last film.
The film shattered the previous open weekend box office records, making an astounding $70 million. At the time of writing, the film has already made $90 million domestically.
Coming from a comedy background, Peele shocked many with how innovative, creative and horrifying his debut film was. Naturally, many had questions about how good of a job a sketch comedian turned first-time director would be.
‘Get Out’ silenced those critics and earned the love of fans and critics alike, winning an Academy Award for best original screenplay and nominations for both Best Picture and Best Director.
After his sophomore effort has been even more successful than his debut film, it’s now undeniable that Peele is not only a horror auteur but a director making films with a level of representation Hollywood has never seen before.
Peele told Variety in a recent interview, “‘Get Out’ is the beginning of a movement of representation in the genre of social relevance in fun movies — of elegant, artistic movies that also can have great box office potential,” Peele said. “It’s the same in television. I think people recognize that if you’re going to make something in this subgenre, we’re the experts.”
After the success of ‘Get Out,’ Peele created his LA-based production company Monkeypaw Productions, which he’s used to start work on upcoming projects like CBS’s ‘Twilight Zone’ reboot, a first-look deal with Amazon Studios and an upcoming animated series.
Peele’s films are so great not only for their exceptional direction, horrifying subject matter, and poignant socio-political messages but for how his films are unafraid to feature people of color in leading roles.
British actor Daniel Kaluuya was the leading man in ‘Get Out,’ earning a Best Actor nod at the Academy Awards, an NAACP Award and a National Society of Film Critics award for best actor.
The wide majority of the ‘Us’ cast are black as well, with the four main characters played by Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex all playing dual roles.
With ‘Us,’ Peele did something not many horror directors have. He cast people of color as the leads without putting emphasis on the color of their skin. The characters in this movie could have been any race and it would not have impacted the story that all.
That’s something we don’t see often in Hollywood regardless of genre and it’s a major step towards proper representation on screen.
After all, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that innovative, celebrated films like ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Sorry To Bother You’ with majority black casts created black creatives like Ryan Coogler and Boots Riley have been applauded by audiences and critics alike.
Peele is positioning himself as a leading force in both the horror genre and an innovative force for black excellence on the big screen.
Tyson 2.0 Launches New Mike Bites Cannabis Gummies
Nearly 25 years after he was disqualified from the World Boxing Association Heavyweight Championship for biting his opponent’s ears, Mike Tyson’s Tyson 2.0 cannabis brand has just released ear-shaped edibles, Mike Bites.
The new ear-shaped edibles are complete with a missing chunk where Tyson removed a portion of Evander Holyfield’s cartilage in what became known as The Bite Fight. After Tyson bit off a chunk of Holyfield’s ear, the 1997 match resumed. However, after attempting to snack on Holyfield’s second ear, Tyson was disqualified and his boxing licence was withdrawn. The Nevada State Athletic Commission handed Tyson a a $3 million fine for his actions and he didn’t fight again for over a year.
Wiz Khalifa Debuts New Taylor Gang x Stündenglass Collab
Wiz Khalifa and his entertainment company Taylor Gang Ent. have collaborated with Stündenglass, the world’s first gravity-powered infuser, to introduce the iconic gold and black Taylor Gang x Stündenglass.
“I’m honored to have collaborated with long time friend Wiz Khalifa, who is as passionate about this product as I am. Our mutual admiration for Stündenglass made it a natural collaboration,” Stündenglass CEO Chris Folkerts said via a press release.
Taylor Gang x Stündenglass is an authentic collaboration developed after the multi-platinum-selling, Grammy-winning, Golden Globe-nominated Khalifa discovered Stündenglass and began enjoying it regularly as seen on his Instagram.
“I love my Stündenglass, and I’m pumped everyone gets to experience this with me now,” Khalifa.
The infuser features a patented 360-degree gravity system that elicits a powerful and immersive experience. It generates kinetic motion activation via cascading water, opposing airflow technology and the natural force of gravity.
The Taylor Gang gravity bing comes in an exclusive black and gold colorway and features two glass globes on a metal base made of aircraft-grade aluminum, surgical grade stainless steel, and high-quality Teflon seals.
Taylor Gang includes artists Ty Dolla $ign, Juicy J, and Berner among others — the former of which has his own line Stündenglass collab with his Cookies brand.
“We’re very excited to launch the official Taylor Gang x Stündenglass. We use glass in our everyday lives, so it only made sense to team up and create an exclusive Taylor Gang collaboration for the fans,” Taylor Gang said.
No Super Bowl for Brock Ollie
With medicinal marijuana being legal in 37 states and recreational cannabis allowed in 18, we should be seeing commercials for companies, products, and services almost as frequently as commercials for sports betting, which is permitted in 30 states in some form.
However, mainstream cannabis advertising continues to be non-existent, as demonstrated in the recent news that NBC has rejected an ad by cannabis e-commerce and advertising platform Weedmaps from being shown during the Super Bowl LVI event his coming Sunday.
Weedmaps reportedly approached the network late last year about airing a Super Bowl commercial that would be “similar to a PSA,” according to reports. Execs volunteered to present some of their earlier educational-based programming, assuring NBC executives that it would not contain any direct-sell messages, which are still forbidden under federal law.
“The answer was a hard no — they wouldn’t even entertain the conversation,” Weedmaps Chief Operating Officer Juanjo Feijoo told Adweek. “We see ourselves as trying to be trailblazers in the industry and making new inroads where others haven’t gone before in cannabis advertising. So it was disappointing.”
The contentious ad personifies cannabis as Brock Ollie, a head of broccoli, the veggie emoji commonly used as a visual representation of cannabis in marketing. The 30-second ad takes viewers through a day in the life of Brock Ollie, whose superfood identity is in jeopardy as he is repeatedly misidentified as cannabis. The ad offers a lighthearted take on the industry’s issues, such as social media censorship and a lack of clear advertising standards, which limit cannabis-related commercials during nationally televised events like the Super Bowl.
“Despite three quarters of the country having legalized cannabis and the bipartisan enthusiasm we continue to see in support for change at the federal level, the industry continues to face roadblocks that inhibit competition in the legal market and stifle opportunities to educate,” Chris Beals, CEO of Weedmaps said. “There’s an irony in the fact that the biggest night for advertising will feature an array of consumer brands in regulated industries, from beverage alcohol to sports betting, yet legal cannabis retailers, brands and businesses have been boxed out.”
The game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams will be played Sunday in L.A.