At Saturday’s “A Salute to Comedy Central” event at PaleyFest in Hollywood, Rotten Tomatoes chatted with Jordan Peele of Key & Peele. Peele discussed his upcoming horror film, Get Out, which he wrote and will direct for Darko Entertainment this summer. Horror, as it turns out, is one of Peele’s biggest passions — and not so different from comedy after all.
Sarah Ricard for Rotten Tomatoes: This past season of Key & Peele was a critical success and one of the things critics say is it’s much darker.
Jordan Peele: I think it’s always been pretty dark, but I’m a very dark person in soul. I just love it. I think death is the grand absurdity and I tend to veer things in that direction because I feel like these are the things we need to laugh about. I feel like the purpose of comedy is to offer relief to the daily darkness that we see everywhere… so, yeah, I can see that. You know, I’m going to be directing a horror movie in the summer.
RT: You are?
Peele: I’m going totally in a satirical, sort of horror, social world. It’s called Get Out. The lead is a black man, which is already an atypical horror movie. I don’t think it’s been done since People Under the Stairs and Night of the Living Dead. I’m obsessed with the link between horror and comedy. I think they’re very close. They’re both about getting a very physical kind of reaction. It’s about tension and it’s about the release of tension.
RT: So, is Get Out comedic?
Peele: At its most comedic, it’ll be like Scream or the original Stepford Wives. So, no, it’s a horror movie, but it’s a satirical premise.
RT: Have you ever directed anything before?
Peele: I have not, but this is my truest passion. I kind of thought I never would be entrusted with a few million dollars to make something and somebody has made what might be the awful mistake of entrusting me with their money.
RT: Well, there’s no history of bad horror movies.
Peele: Yeah, this is the other thing. There’s so much bad stuff out there and, like, twenty great [horror] films in total.
RT: That’s so exciting. You really do have a dark side.
Peele: Ooooh, yeah.
Season four of Key & Peele is currently Fresh at 100 percent. New episodes for season five will air later in 2015.