Not long after the series finale of sketch comedy powerhouse Key & Peele, Jordan Peele made his feature film directorial debut with Get Out, which quickly became a modern horror classic and earned Peele an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in the process. Here, we’ll take a look at 10 things you never knew about Get Out.
During a red carpet interview at the film’s premiere, Jordan Peele talked about a bit from the Eddie Murphy standup film Delirious and the influence it had on his movie’s title. “Eddie Murphy is talking about the difference between how a white family and a black family would react in a haunted house,” Peele told Entertainment Tonight. In the classic routine, Murphy says if a supernatural presence told a black family to “get out,” they’d leave. “It’s one of the best bits of all time,” Peele said.
During an interview about the Key & Peele comedy Keanu, Keegan-Michael Key called it a “spiritual cousin to a movie like Hot Fuzz.” A year later, Jordan Peele moderated a Q&A with filmmaker Edgar Wright at a Hot Fuzz 10-year anniversary screening in Los Angeles, shown as a double feature with Point Break. During the conversation, Peele cited the British director’s penchant for planting small things throughout a film that pay off later, as a huge influence on Get Out. Wright Tweeted his thanks afterward, adding, “[It was] a blast to watch the film next to you, too.”
Much praise has rightly been lavished upon the cast of Get Out, with outlets like The Washington Post and of course Peele himself expressing the importance of the movie’s players. Daniel Kaluuya’s work in an episode of Black Mirror helped land him the job. As Peele told Seth Meyers, “he does the full range of quiet and internal to primal rage and passion. He had every emotion I would need.” In a separate interview, with GQ, the writer-director said it was important that the actor playing Chris was someone, “who related to the isolation of being the only black person in a given space.” The British actor, who sued London’s Metropolitan Police over a 2013 racial profiling incident, told Vulture that he’d “been to so many parties in England and in America that’s exactly like that, where you’re kind of like seen as Other.”
The movie nods
Peele is an unapologetic movie lover and stuffed Get Out with all kinds of references to classic films. He’s spoken lovingly about the influence of movies like The Stepford Wives, The Silence of the Lambs, Rosemary’s Baby, Night of the Living Dead, and even Hitchcock’s North by Northwest. In his Blu-ray and DVD commentary, he described the opening scene’s subversion of “the perfect white neighborhood” as inspired by Halloween. The white car stalking the movie’s first victim is a nod to both Jaws and Christine.
No film gets as much Easter egg love as Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. The director had paid tribute before, in the Key & Peele sketch “Continental Breakfast.” (As of the time we’re making this video, Peele’s Twitter profile is still from that sketch.) In Get Out‘s opening scene, Andre compares being lost in the ‘burbs to being “in a hedge maze.” The Get Out title scene is a direct homage to The Shining‘s opening credits. Chris tours the Armitage home much like the Torrance family toured The Overlook Hotel. And during a pivotal moment, the movie cuts to Rob, who ultimately saves the day, much as The Shining cut to Dick Holleran, who also tried to come to the rescue. The number “237,” as in The Shining‘s Room 237, can be heard over a P.A. system.
There are Easter eggs hidden in the film’s music, as well. In an interview with GQ conducted shortly before the movie’s release, Peele revealed that one of the songs in the beginning of the film issues a warning to Chris, albeit in Swahili. The lyrics translate roughly to, “Watch your back. Something’s coming, and it ain’t good.” A couple of months later, a Twitter user translated another part of the song’s lyrics as, “Listen to ancestors… Run away!” to which Peele confirmed, “This is correct.”
Another musical moment ties into that Eddie Murphy routine. Peele told Hip Hop DX that he chose the Childish Gambino song “Redbone” partially for it’s “Stay Woke” chorus, explaining it ties into his determination to, “make sure this movie satisfied the black horror movie audience’s need for characters to be smart and do things that intelligent and observant people would do.”
The Holy Grail
Jeremy is wearing a Knights Templar helmet, one of many ritualistic feeling moments in Get Out. By the end of the film, the audience gets the impression he’s probably worn this every time, just as the brain surgeries have been performed over and over. In his director’s commentary, Peele explained that the Get Out villains are part of a secret organization stretching back to the Knights Templar called The Red Alchemists Society. “They believe they are destined for immortality and deity status and over hundreds of years they have worked to figure out, through science, a way to achieve the power of the Holy Grail.” During the chilling silent auction, the Red Alchemists Society isn’t bidding with money. “In my particular lore… the Knights Templar… were collectors of antiquities and treasures,” Peele said. “I have it in my mind that they trade amongst each other these relics and artifacts.”
The original ending
Get Out was originally going to end with the police showing up and arresting Chris. During an appearance on Buzzfeed’s Another Round podcast, Peele explained that moment was intended to challenge the idea of a “post-racial world” following President Obama’s election, the notion that racism was somehow over. But a number of current events, like the shooting deaths of unarmed black men Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin, caused the director to change his mind. “It was very clear that the ending need to transform into something that gives us a hero, that gives us an escape, gives us a positive feeling when we leave this movie,” Peele said.
Not long after the movie’s release, Peele told different interviewers that he already had an idea where a sequel could go and whether or not he made a direct follow-up, he certainly planned to make more social-commentary stuffed thrillers. As recently as the summer of 2018, Blumhouse producer Jason Blum told Variety, “If Jordan wants to do a sequel, I’ll do it in a second, but it has to come from Jordan Peele. I think he’s flirting with the idea.” As for Peele, he told the Hollywood Reporter, “I can tell you I will definitely consider it. I love that universe and I feel like there is more story to tell. I don’t know what it is now, but there are some loose ends.”