UNIVERSAL CITY, CA — Universal Pictures today announced that the studio has entered into a five-year exclusive production partnership with Monkeypaw Productions, led by producer, director and Academy Award®-winning writer Jordan Peele.
In less than three years, Monkeypaw has grown into one of the industry’s most prolific and cutting-edge production companies focusing on creating groundbreaking, elevated, genre-forward films, with an emphasis on original stories. Today’s announcement was made by Donna Langley, Chairman, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group.
Peele’s first two films from Monkeypaw and Universal, which he produced, directed and wrote, 2017’s Get Out and 2019’s Us, became commercial and critical smash hits, with Get Out still holding the record as the highest-grossing movie ever for a feature debut from a writer/director with an original screenplay. Get Out earned Peele the Academy Award® for Best Original Screenplay along with nominations for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor (for Daniel Kaluuya). Peele’s sophomore film Us debuted earlier this year to record-breaking results, including the highest-grossing opening ever for an original horror film; the highest-grossing opening ever for an R-rated film; and the highest-grossing opening for a live-action original since 2009’s Avatar.
“Jordan 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,” said Langley. “We also share an important goal with Monkeypaw when it comes to increasing representation on-screen in the characters that are portrayed, the stories that are told, and the people who tell them.”
“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,” said Peele.
Under the new exclusive deal, Universal is developing Peele’s next two films which he will direct, write, and produce. Peele and Monkeypaw, headed by President Win Rosenfeld, will also produce original films under their banner, championing filmmakers with a focus on high-level content that transcends genre. Monkeypaw produced Spike Lee’s feature BlacKkKlansman in 2018, about an undercover police officer who infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan. The film received six Oscar® nominations, winning Lee his first-ever Oscar® (Adapted Screenplay) and earning Peele his fourth nomination in two years. Monkeypaw is currently in production on Candyman, written by Peele and Rosenfeld, and directed by rising filmmaker Nia DaCosta (Little Woods). Universal Pictures will distribute Candyman globally with the North American release date slated for June 12, 2020.
Peele was the co-star and co-creator of the Emmy-winning Key & Peele. The hit series garnered more than 1 billion online hits and won a Peabody Award, an American Comedy Award, and earned 12 Emmy Award® nominations during its five-season run.
Peele and Monkeypaw Productions are represented by CAA, Principato-Young and Jared Levine.
About Universal Pictures
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