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Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw and Universal Forge New Exclusive Five-Year Film Deal

Jordan Peele is keeping his parking spot on the Universal lot.

The Oscar-winning creative behind Monkeypaw Productions has signed an exclusive new production pact with Universal Pictures, an increasingly rare deal that will see all of his movies released at the studio for the next five years.

Universal filmed entertainment group chairman Donna Langley announced the news of the deal, which was brokered for Peele and Monkeypaw by CAA, Principato-Young and Jared Levine, on Tuesday.

The pact’s value is in the stratosphere of the nine-figure overalls that streaming giants have been handing out like Halloween candy to people such as Ryan Murphy and Shonda Rhimes, but structured in the linear model in which traditional studios operate — and could earn just as much, if Peele holds steady with critical and commercial smashes like “Get Out” and “Us.” The price tag includes upfront compensation, operational costs for Peele and partner Win Rosenfeld, and new backend box office percentages, insiders familiar with the negotiations said.

Langley said Peele has “established himself as a premier voice and original storyteller with global appeal. He is leading a new generation of filmmakers that have found a way to tap into the cultural zeitgeist with groundbreaking content that resonates with audiences of all backgrounds.” The studio chief also reaffirmed she and Peele’s commitment to “increasing representation on-screen in the characters that are portrayed, the stories that are told, and the people who tell them.”

Peele and Universal are currently in development on two feature films for which he will serve as writer, director and producer. Both titles fall under the new agreement. Monkeypaw is also in production on a reimagining of the horror film “Candyman,” written by Peele and Rosenfeld and directed by Nia DaCosta (“Little Woods”).

“It would not have been possible to make ‘Get Out’ and ‘Us’ without the endless trust and support we received from Donna Langley and the team at Universal. Their willingness to take risks and their commitment to original content makes them the perfect collaborative partner for Monkeypaw. I couldn’t be more excited for what lies ahead,” Peele said.

Hailing from the comedy world with the hit Comedy Central series “Key & Peele,” the creator stunned global audiences with the timely and inventive “Get Out” in 2017, for which he received the Academy Award for best original screenplay, as well as nominations for best picture, best director and a best actor nod for star Daniel Kaluuya. The film holds the record for the highest-grossing movie ever for a debut writer-director with an original screenplay, to the tune of $255 million worldwide on a budget of $4.5 million.


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