You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jason Blum Says Jordan Peele ‘Doubled Down on Scary’ Between ‘Get Out’ and ‘Us’

Jordan Peele terrified audiences with his cultural phenomenon “Get Out” nearly two years ago. But producer Jason Blum says the scares built into Peele’s directorial debut are nothing compared to what he has in store for “Us,” which will be unleash on theaters next month.

“It’s like ‘Get Out’ on steroids,” the super producer told Variety at Wednesday’s African American Film Critics Association Awards. The trailer for “Us,” which stars Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke as a mother and father protecting their family from their sinister doubles, also occupied a spot during the ceremony.

Blum, who partnered with Peele on both of his feature efforts, praised the writer-director for his commitment to horror — a genre in which Blum has founded his entire career, with hits like the “Paranormal Activity” and “Insidious” franchises.

“He’s incredibly generous and just wildly gifted. What’s really special about Jordan is, he didn’t have a big success in ‘Get Out’ and jump out of horror,” Blum said. “He doubled down on scary with ‘Us,’ which obviously made me very happy.”

Later in the evening, Blum teared up while accepting the Cinema Vanguard Award, which he called the “most important” honor he has ever received. The distinction celebrated his dedication to uplifting black voices in films like “Get Out” and “BlacKkKlansman.”

“I would like to make something incredibly clear,” Blum said in his speech. “We do not and we have not hired diverse directors to win awards or be recognized in moments like this … We don’t hire women because it’s the right thing to do. We hire diversely because we hire the best.”

Also among the night’s top honorees was music industry veteran Quincy Jones, who brought the crowd to its feet before and after his speech while dancing along to Michael Jackson’s “Off the Wall,” which he produced. He stressed the importance of representation for black creatives while accepting the Stanley Kramer Award.

“Ours is the culture that the world embraces and emulates,” Jones told the crowd at Los Angeles’ Taglyan Complex. “I learned the power of our culture to bring forth change as a young man, and I, to this day, I try to push my work to this perspective. That’s why I stay engaged, because together, we can do things for the betterment of mankind that we could never do alone.”

The remainder of the ceremony was a mix of passionate speeches, exorbitant thanks and various pop-culture references, including a quip from director Ava DuVernay about the upcoming host-less Oscars, several “Wakanda Forevers” and a message to President Donald Trump from director Barry Jenkins.

“I always end up talking about the president when I get on these stages, so I apologize for talking about the damn president, but I’m going to talk about his a–,” Jenkins joked while presenting the breakthrough film award to “Searching” director Aneesh Chaganty. “And I’m going to talk about him because the director of this film, Aneesh Chaganty, is Indian-American and the star of this film is Korean-American, and yet, here we are at the African American Film Critics Association, celebrating this young man. You want to talk about making America great again? It’s great as hell in this room right now.”

More of the night’s honorees included “If Beale Street Could Talk” filmmaker Jenkins for independent film and screenplay, “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler for film and director, “Support the Girls” star Regina Hall for best actress, “BlacKkKlansman” lead John David Washington for best actor. The remaining recognitions went to “The Hate U Give’s” Amandla Stenberg for breakout performance, “Quincy’s” Rashida Jones for best documentary, and the cast of “Queen Sugar” for best TV drama. DuVernay, Storm Reid and Lakeith Stanfield were among the presenters, with Tichina Arnold serving as emcee.

More Scene

  • Ron HowardBreakthrough Prize, Arrivals, NASA Ames

    Ron Howard Talks New Luciano Pavarotti Documentary

    If one is an anomaly, two are a coincidence and three are a trend, then Ron Howard might strictly become a music documentarian after “Pavarotti” hits theaters. The documentary about the world-famous Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti comes on the heels of Howard’s “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week” and “Made in America,” a look at [...]

  • Cara Delevingne poses for photographers upon

    Cara Delevingne to Be Honored With Hero Award at Trevor Project New York Gala

    The Trevor Project will honor Cara Delevingne with the Hero Award at its upcoming TrevorLIVE New York gala. Delevingne has supported The Trevor Project‘s efforts to end LGBTQ youth suicide rates, in addition to using her platform to speak out about mental health issues, women’s rights and animal conservation. On screen, she has acted in [...]

  • Kristen Stewart'JT LeRoy' Film Premiere, Arrivals,

    Kristen Stewart: 'Charlie's Angels' Reboot Is 'Woke' but Still 'Funny and Weird'

    “Charlie’s Angels” has made the jump to 2019. Kristen Stewart, who stars in the Elizabeth Banks-directed reboot as one of the Angels, says the classic ’70s franchise has been updated to modern times without losing its pulpy action. “At one point I think we said it was woke and grounded, and everyone was like, ‘Wait, [...]

  • Robert De Niro

    Robert De Niro Slams Trump Administration at Tribeca Opening Night

    The 18th annual Tribeca Film Festival opened with Roger Ross Williams’ documentary “The Apollo” at the iconic uptown venue which performers and Harlem community members call “home.” “You can feel the history, the echo of the entertainers,” Tribeca Film Festival co-founder Robert De Niro said in a speech before the film. “In this administration, during [...]

  • Lilli Cooper Tootsie

    How the 'Tootsie' Musical Was Updated for the #MeToo Era

    Turning the beloved 1982 comedy “Tootsie” into a 21st century musical already seemed like a challenge when work on the adaptation began back in 2016. Then the #MeToo movement revved up — and the writers knew they couldn’t tell Dorothy’s story for a modern audience without it. “It’s different than it was when the movie [...]

  • Ralph Fiennes attends a special screening

    Ralph Fiennes on Directing Rudolf Nureyev Biopic: 'It's Been a Very, Very Long Road'

    Ralph Fiennes celebrated his latest directorial outing, “The White Crow,” on Monday night in New York City. The Sony Pictures Classics film tells the story of legendary dancer Rudolf Nureyev. “It’s been a very, very long road. We were mad. We were mad to take on this subject of Rudolf Nureyev. Mad. Completely mad,” Fiennes [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content