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Letter sent on May 17, 2017

Jordan Peele is a Hero of Original Content

Jordan Peele resists the ‘Akira’ temptation, plus a bunch of other important pop culture things to start your day.

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There’s a long-running debate that rages in the halls of geekdom. In fact, one could argue that said debate often rages inside the minds of the pop culture obsessed on an almost daily basis. It’s not a debate that requires another person at all. It’s the topic of what we’d rather see talented filmmakers do with their time. Should they focus on original stories or would we like to see their unique takes on existing material? Would you rather have Christopher Nolan’s next Memento or something like The Dark Knight? To invent or to re-invent? That is the question.

With Get Out, Jordan Peele became the latest filmmaker thrust into this spotlight of our own projections. We’re now — — as a community of fans — — deciding what we’d like to see him do next. Should it be the Akira remake? How about taking over The Flash? Once we get a whiff of that sweet, fresh filmmaking talent, we almost immediately begin fan-casting Peele into the director’s chair on a number of projects. In our defense, studios have been doing it, too. And Peele has been taking those meetings. What young filmmaker in their right mind wouldn’t take those meetings?

In the end, it’s Peele who will make the decision on what to do next. And according to the filmmaker himself, it’s going to be original content for the foreseeable future. Speaking at a Get Out event this week, Peele had this to say about that Akira remake:

“I think [I could do it] if the story justifies it. Akira is one of my favorite movies, and I think obviously the story justifies as big a budget as you can possibly dream of. But the real question for me is: Do I want to do pre-existing material, or do I want to do original content? At the end of the day, I want to do original stuff.”

That’s the kind of heroic talk we need right now. Whether or not we deserve it is another thing, entirely. But I’m done with these Dark Knight metaphors. We should applaud Peele’s commitment to working on original stories. As much as I’d love to see him bring levity and wit to the drab-fest of the DC Expanded Universe, he’s in a great spot right now to dictate his own terms and make his own stories. If any of his next few original stories work half as well as Get Out, there will always be another opportunity to do a superhero movie. In fact, what you hope for in the case of Peele is a career trajectory similar to that of Rian Johnson, who made Brick, The Brothers Bloom, and Looper before signing on to do a Star Wars movie.

Also, if history is any indication, that Akira movie isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Take your time, Mr. Peele. We’re with you.

Today in Pop Culture History

Trent Reznor turns 52 today. To celebrate, you can watch him appear in the first episode of the new Twin Peaks series later this week.

On this day in 1996, a then 18-year old Alicia Machado was crowned as the 45th Miss Universe.

Literally today, David Hudson has found his way back to collecting links for film snobs over at Criterion’s website.

What You Need to Know Today

Speaking of The Flash, it’s now being reported that Warner Bros. is looking at Oscar-winner and mo-cap nightmare creator Robert Zemeckis to take over their scarlet speedster project. At the very least, he does have a history with time travel movies.

Amidst cancellations everywhere, Fox has announced that New Girl — — quite possibly my favorite 30-minutes of television every week — — will be brought back for one more, shortened season. It will also involve a 3-year time jump. Hopefully, Schmidt will get fat again.

The Safdie Brothers, whose new film Good Time got a trailer this week, will be teaming up with Martin Scorsese and Jonah Hill for a new project about the New York City Diamond District at A24. They’ve come a long way since Daddy Longlegs.


H. Perry Horton continues to prepare you for the Twin Peaks revival by explaining what makes David Lynch’s original show so great.

Ciara Wardlow is currently filling in for me on my usual Game of Thrones beat, and she’s doing so wonderfully. Here she talks about those five (FIVE!) spinoff shows.

Here’s a video essay about Emmanuel Lubezki. Chivo forever, y’all.

Shot of the Day

Shout out to impeccable timing and Twitter user Jorge Villalobos.

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