All Those ‘Us’ Michael Jackson Shout-Outs Explained, From ‘Thriller’ T-Shirt to a Single Glove

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

(Major spoiler alert: Do not read on if you haven’t seen Jordan Peele’s “Us.”)

Jordan Peele’s “Us” is chock full of references to Michael Jackson, starting when Lupita Nyongo’s younger self wins a “Thriller” t-shirt at the Santa Cruz boardwalk in the 1980s.

But Peele and his costume designer Kym Barrett threw several more nods to the late King of Pop, who is back in the news given the documentary “Leaving Neverland,” in which two men accuse Jackson of sexual abuse (accusations that his estate has disputed).

The doppelgängers in the film, or The Tethered, wear red jumpsuits and one single glove — just as Jackson wore a red jumpsuit during his famed 1983 music video “Thriller,” and Jackson’s single white glove covered in silver sequins made its TV debut during his performance of “Billy Jean” at Motown’s 25th anniversary in 1983. The single glove would become a signature style throughout the rest of his career.

“There are a lot of references running throughout the movie and there’s a lot of nodding and homages to different directors and different horror movies,” Barrett told TheWrap. “The leader of The Tethered has had access to that T-shirt and she knows who Michael Jackson is. She’s seen imagery and she’s seen like the Hands Across America T-shirt, there’s a lot of imagery which she’s seen.

“When it’s time to have the exodus from the tunnel to the top world, that’s an 8-year-old’s jumbled-up impression of the world and it’s regurgitated out into the choice of the red jumpsuit,” she added. “She sees Hands Across America, the cut-out people reinforced by a guy who looks a bit scary and has a red jacket and glove on — it’s memories from a child that is later turned to the red jumpsuit and the glove.”

Also Read: ‘Us’ Film Review: Jordan Peele Terrifies Again With a Chilling Examination of Duality

The “Thriller” T-shirt, of course, also correlates to the underground world where the Tethered walk around in a zombie-like fashion — similar to how Jackson and his dancers behaved in director John Landis’ video.

Peele himself weighed in on the Jackson nods in the film, telling Mashable, “Everything in this movie was deliberate, that is one thing I can guarantee you. Unless you didn’t like something and that was a complete accident.”

And deploying the King of Pop — himself a participant in 1986’s Hands Across America, was also intentional. “Michael Jackson is probably the patron saint of duality,” Peele said. “The movie starts in the ’80s — the duality with which I experienced him [Jackson] in that time was both as the guy that presented this outward positivity, but also the ‘Thriller’ video which scared me to death.”

Barrett agreed, adding that Jackson is “an extreme example of how you are seen and how you really are inside,” adding that his first child molestation trial really gave insight into Jackson’s complicated dual legacy. (He was acquitted in 2005 of molesting a 13-year-old boy.)

The idea for the doppelgängers’ jumpsuits originally came from utilitarian wear, “work clothes that people go out to work out every day and things that people who construct the infrastructure of society wear,” Barrett said.

Also Read: Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Wins Over Critics: ‘A Masterpiece’ Despite Some ‘Messiness’

“It kind of evolved from work wear and utilitarian clothing to also something that they can easily make,” she explained. “Jordan was like, ‘I think they should be red,’ whatever they are. We went down that pathway, and the jumpsuit was tried on a lot of people and was universally accepted. It’s such an easy thing to take on and off, basically. I just shortened the pant leg so you could see their ankles and I wanted there to be a part of them that wasn’t covered, so they were vulnerable. I wanted them to feel like they bled in and out of the light and dark, like a watercolor — they emerge from the darkness.”

She also wanted to set the doppelgängers apart from the above-ground family of Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke’s characters. “They were lights in the darkness because they go through such an extended kind of horrific set of events but they are always coming back together,” she said.

Barrett says she has no idea her homage to Jackson would prove so timely with the release of “Leaving Neverland” just weeks before “Us.”

“I didn’t really think about how it would be good or bad for the movie, it was just an eye-opening thing,” she said. “What really struck me was that in the last trials, the world was seeing him in a different way and you were more likely to say, ‘He could be but what if he’s not?’ or ‘There was some reason,’ whereas this, for me anyway, really shone a light on stuff that had not been out in the open.”

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Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Scares Up $7.4 Million at Thursday Box Office

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“Us,” the horror follow-up to “Get Out” from director Jordan Peele and released by Universal, earned a massive $7.4 million in its Thursday box office previews from 3,150 screens. It opens on 3,741 screens this weekend.

Independent trackers have “Us” expected to earn between $45-50 million, though Universal is saying that the opening would be considered a success if it was within the range of “Get Out.” Peele’s previous film earned $33.3 million in its first weekend in 2017 following a Thursday preview total of just $1.8 million.

A $50 million opening for “Us” would also put it within the range of the opening for John Krasinski’s horror film “A Quiet Place,” which earned $4.3 million during its Thursday previews. It also eclipsed the total of last year’s horror prequel “The Nun,” which made an impressive $5.4 million on Thursday ahead of a $53.8 million opening.

Also Read: ‘Us’ Film Review: Jordan Peele Terrifies Again With a Chilling Examination of Duality

“Get Out” was made on a trim $4.5 million budget, while “Us” cost a still modest $20 million. But behind killer word of mouth and a Rotten Tomatoes score that currently sits at 94 percent with 183 reviews counted, “Us” is expected to leg out well beyond its opening and could reach a domestic run of over $200 million.

“Us” stars Lupita Nyong’o as Adelaide Wilson, a woman returning to her beachside childhood home with her husband, Gabe (Winston Duke), and their two children (Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex) for an idyllic summer getaway. After spending a tense day at the beach with their friends (Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker), Adelaide and her family return to their vacation home to discover the silhouettes of four figures standing in their driveway. “Us” pits an ordinary American family against a terrifying and uncanny opponent: doppelgängers of themselves.

Peele wrote and directed “Us,” his second feature, for his Monkeypaw Productions alongside Ian Cooper. The film is the company’s first solo production venture. Sean McKittrick and Jason Blum also produced.

“Us” could top what would be the third weekend for Marvel’s “Captain Marvel.” It also opens opposite the true-story thriller “Hotel Mumbai” and the foreign film “Sunset,” and Julianne Moore’s “Gloria Bell” going wider.

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Writer/director/producer Jordan Peele made one hell of a splash with his debut “Get Out” back in 2017, and he’s showing off his filmmaking chops once again right now with “Us,” another heady horror flick with a lot to say.

But “Us” is a little bit less straightforward than “Get Out” was, offering up what appears on the surface to be a fairly simple but ingenious twist on the home invasion formula — our protagonist family of four, led by Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke, is forced to face off against their own evil doppelgangers. But the further you get into the film, the clearer it becomes that there is so much more going on here than you could have imagined.

So as the credits begin to roll and you’re trying to figure out what it was you just saw, you’re gonna want help from any place you can get it because “Us” really is quite a doozy.

Also Read: ‘Us’ Film Review: Jordan Peele Terrifies Again With a Chilling Examination of Duality

So you’re probably going to wonder — or hope, as I did — that Peele would bestow “Us” with a stinger or extra scene during or  after the credits that might shed some light on the revelations that the film dropped as it reached its climax. So does “Us” have a mid-credits scene or post-credits scene or anything like that?

While we here at TheWrap would always encourage any and all moviegoers to stick around through the end credits of a film to show some small amount of appreciation for the many, many people that were responsible for bringing whatever you just watched to life, you can rest assured that “Us” does not feature any extra scenes during or after the credits. So if you’ve got to get out of the theater quickly or are in dire need of a visit to the restroom, you can head out knowing that you won’t be missing any extra content or clues to help decipher the film by leaving when the credits start.

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Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Headed Toward an Even Bigger Opening Than ‘Get Out’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Two years ago, Jordan Peele became the box office’s biggest surprise as “Get Out” became one of the year’s biggest cultural and financial hits. Now, with an Oscar and multiple producer attachments to his name, Peele is ready to make a big splash at the box office again as Universal releases his second film, “Us,” nationwide this weekend.

While there were 14 other films that had a higher domestic gross than in 2017, “Get Out” had by far the biggest return on investment. Produced by Blumhouse with its usual thrifty approach, the film grossed $176 million domestic and $255 million worldwide against a mere $4.5 million production budget. The film also legged out far better than most horror or R-rated movies, as it opened to $33.3 million in February 2017 and more than quintupled that amount by the end of its domestic theatrical run.

Also Read: ‘Us’ Film Review: Jordan Peele Terrifies Again With a Chilling Examination of Duality

Universal says that any opening higher than what “Get Out” made would be considered a success, but trackers are very optimistic as they project a $45-50 million opening. An opening on the higher end of that range would match the $50.2 million opening of last year’s horror hit “A Quiet Place,” which “Us” is currently outperforming in advance ticket sales on Fandango. The film is also expected to leg out as well as “Get Out,” which could mean a domestic run of more than $200 million against a $20 million production budget.

Even compared to other upcoming horror films like “Pet Sematary,” “Us” is a fiercely unique film that is enjoying immense social buzz and critical acclaim. Since its premiere on the opening night of SXSW, “Us” has earned a 98 percent Rotten Tomatoes score, with 68 reviews logged. And along with lead stars Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke, both of whom are still riding high off of their “Black Panther” fame, “Us” also has something that was once common decades ago but which is now rare: a director with box office draw.

Also Read: Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Wins Over Critics: ‘A Masterpiece’ Despite Some ‘Messiness’

“In horror, there is a brand recognition with Blumhouse, but there isn’t a single director that has become so popular with audiences as Jordan Peele has,” said Exhibitor Relations analyst Jeff Bock. “The closest person I can think of is Eli Roth, but even he didn’t get nearly as big off of just one film the way Peele has with ‘Get Out.’”

Written, directed, and co-produced by Peele, “Us” stars Nyong’o and Duke as an upper-middle class African-American couple on vacation with their two kids. But their vacation is interrupted when they are attacked by clones of themselves known as The Tethered, who have come to claim the family’s lives for themselves. Tim Heidecker and Elisabeth Moss also star in the film, which was produced by Blumhouse’s Jason Blum, QC Productions’ Sean McKittrick and Ian Cooper, who is producing alongside Peele through Monkeypaw Productions

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Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Wins Over Critics: ‘A Masterpiece’ Despite Some ‘Messiness’

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Two weeks before “Us” hits theaters, Jordan Peele’s follow-up to “Get Out” screened for the first time Friday night at SXSW in Austin, Texas. And judging by the early reactions from critics, it appears Peele isn’t suffering from any sophomore slump.

In her review for TheWrap, Yolanda Machado praised the performances of Lupita Nyong’o and Shahadi Wright Joseph, saying each brought something completely different to their dual roles the mother Adelaide Wilson and her daughter Zora, and then as their creepy doppelgänger personas. Machado also said that Peele — who wrote, directed and produced the film — cemented himself as the best horror filmmaker in the business.

“Nyong’o gives a master class in acting in dual roles and is almost unrecognizable as her doppelgänger persona. (Which is as much plot as will be revealed here.) Not only does she take on an entirely different voice, but her posture, movements and facial expressions suggest a different individual entirely. At times, I had to remind myself that this was the same woman; that’s just how good she is,” Machado writes.

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“Wright Joseph, meanwhile, plays two extremes of a teenager: one slightly removed, angsty but loving, while the other is just downright creepy. Her strengths are on full display in some of the more climactic scenes, but that evil-twin smile will haunt me in my sleep.”

Most of the other critics largely agreed with Machado’s take, even if some thought “Us” may have been a little too ambitious for its own good. But the early word is that Nyong’o is the clear star of the film. Check out some more reviews below.

Dan Caffrey, Consequence of Sound

“There’s no denying the craftsmanship or the singular voice that’s on display in ‘Us.’ And yet there’s also no denying its messiness, which expands outward as the film moves farther and farther from its claustrophobic locale. Exciting? Sure. Unique? Without a doubt. But it’s hard to not feel frustrated by a script that never seems to figure out what it’s trying to say.”

Matt Patches, Polygon

“Peele constructed ‘Us’ to spark conversation without sacrificing his instinct to be wildly entertaining. There are hilarious kills and barbarous acts of violence. There are deep societal reads on 21st-century life in the U.S. (wink) and also jokes about explaining the drug references in rap lyrics to kids. There are sequences in film that recall the most artful horror films of the 1970s — and there are sequences that directly shout out to ‘C.H.U.D.’.”

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Angie Han, Mashable

“Moment to moment, ‘Us’ is a film designed to make you react – to get you to giggle at Winston Duke’s extreme dad-ness (“You don’t need the internet. You have the outernet!” he tells his exasperated teenage daughter), or scream at a villain silently materializing in the corner of a frame. And it shapeshifts so frequently, and so deftly, that it’s a fool’s errand to guess at any moment what might happen next.  But it quickly becomes obvious that ‘Us’ has a lot more on its mind than making you jump. Every detail here seems carefully considered, down to the amount of dust gathered on a coffee table in a rarely used living room. In the hands of a filmmaker this precise, much of the fun is in waiting to see just how his intricate puzzle will come together.”

Joanna Robinson, Vanity Fair

“Peele’s overarching social commentary is clear, but he also said that he wants every individual to tailor their interpretation to their own experience. As with ‘Get Out,’ this film certainly has plenty to do with the black experience in this country. One of the biggest, most uneasy laughs of the night went to Nyong’o when, in full monster mode, she responded to the question “who are you?” by croaking, defiantly, “we’re Americans.” But ‘Us’ is never just one thing. It’s a masterpiece of doubling, layering, and tethering. It’s also a movie packed to the brim with horrifying iconography–the red jumpsuits, vacant-eyed bunnies, and always those slicing shears–some of which has obvious meaning, while Peele is disinclined to break down the rest the way he did with Get Out.

Randall Colburn, AV Club

“After a soupy first act, the film roars like a rocket, with quick shots of burgeoning chaos–Peele remains so, so good at finding the uncanny in public behaviors–serving to disorient in ways that nullify the need for gore. It helps that his cast is so game. Nyong’o is incredible, as effective in battle as she is in moments of drama. Joseph and Alex are also compelling, each giving their doppelgängers a fierce edge that never veers into the “creepy kid” template pervading modern studio horror. Elisabeth Moss and Tim Heidecker, meanwhile, each get to flex heretofore untapped muscles as the family’s sousy, self-loathing pals. It’s unfortunate, then, that ‘Us’ splinters as it exhales. Its third act collapses during a fit of exposition that raises more questions than it answers, and its lingering twist lands with a palpable thud, failing to resonate due to a central metaphor that’s a touch too translucent.”

Also Read: Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Trailer Shows a Terrifying New Nightmare (Video)

Evan Narcisse, io9

“All of the main cast pull double duty in impressive fashion playing the two sets of characters but Nyong’o shines brightest. She gives ferocious energy as a mother giving her all to fight against darkness and an opposite number seething with implacable covetousness.”

“Us” stars Nyong’o and fellow “Black Panther” star Winston Duke as a married couple who take a trip to a Northern California summer beach home along with their children, and meet another couple portrayed by Elisabeth Moss and comedian Tim Heidecker. Nyong’o’s character slowly becomes paranoid about her children’s safety, and as she becomes more concerned, they witness four figures in red suits holding hands at the end of their driveway. Those figures aren’t just anyone, but exact replicas of themselves.

“Us” opens in theaters on March 22.

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‘Us’ Film Review: Jordan Peele Terrifies Again With a Chilling Examination of Duality

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Examining the nature of humanity can be a dark and depressing venture, now more than ever. A world that feels divided, one which you fear, becomes your greatest enemy. These are the building blocks for “Us,” writer-director-producer Jordan Peele’s highly anticipated, thrilling and satisfactory follow up to his Oscar-winning 2017 debut “Get Out.” It’s also where he cements his place as one of the best horror creators of our time, knowing that life’s true horror stems from what humans are capable of doing to each other.

Adelaide Wilson (Lupita Nyong’o), her husband, Gabe (Winston Duke), and their children Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph, “Hairspray Live!”) and Jason (Evan Alex) head to the beach town of Santa Cruz for their summer vacation. They’re an all-American family, with a father who has a degree in dad jokes, a mom who tends to the needs of all her family, a monosyllabic teenager who never looks away from her phone and a spritely, rambunctious young boy content to run around in a Chewbacca mask all day long.

But then a pattern of coincidences appear — the number 11:11 popping up several times, circles landing within a circle, words being spoken in the same moment — that shake Adelaide to her core. She’s been through this before, as a young girl, in that exact same beach town. And what she once ran from has now come to make her remember what she left behind.

The performances are uniformly fantastic, but I was most impressed by Wright Joseph and Nyong’o, both delivering distinct and completely unique work. Nyong’o gives a master class in acting in dual roles and is almost unrecognizable as her doppelgänger persona. (Which is as much plot as will be revealed here.) Not only does she take on an entirely different voice, but her posture, movements and facial expressions suggest a different individual entirely. At times, I had to remind myself that this was the same woman; that’s just how good she is.

Watch Video: Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Trailer Shows a Terrifying New Nightmare

Wright Joseph, meanwhile, plays two extremes of a teenager: one slightly removed, angsty but loving, while the other is just downright creepy. Her strengths are on full display in some of the more climactic scenes, but that evil-twin smile will haunt me in my sleep. Duke and Alex are great pairings against Nyong’o and Joseph, with Duke — the imposing M’baku of “Black Panther” — transforming himself into a full-on suburban dad. Co-stars Elisabeth Moss and Tim Heidecker, who play the Wilsons’ friends and neighbors, add a touch of humor with their own dark twist.

Duality is a big theme throughout the theme of the film, an examining of things that are so very similar in appearance but vastly different too. The film even incorporates the theme within its own structure. “Us” plays as two contrasting movies: one is very much a jump-scare-filled, thrilling horror flick that many of us grew up watching, while the other is a much deeper and complicated drama with a sometimes muddled message about society. It’s a smart strategy but also a bit disorienting.

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There’s a plot hole that evolves from this very contradiction of themes, but it’s not a deal breaker, mainly because Peele envelops you in the film’s dichotomy. Ultimately, this yin and yang deepens the film, because it allows it to evolve and change in each subsequent viewing, even if it might disengage viewers at certain points.

That duality surfaces in the soundtrack created by Michael Abels (“Get Out”) that features both Luniz’s “I Got 5 On It” and the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations,” in scenes which would not usually come to mind for either song. The unique takes on both heighten the sense of the world Peele has created. Production designer Ruth De Jong (“Manchester by the Sea”) has crafted disparate yet parallel sets, which are highlighted along the way as the story reveals itself.

See Photos: ‘Black Panther’ Star Winston Duke Exclusive StudioWrap Portraits

You don’t have to guess at what films may have been some of the inspiration for “Us.” Peele, taking a cue from M. Night Shyamalan, leaves the breadcrumbs right on the table for you to see. The opening sequence of the film is a wide shot of a few VHS tapes surrounding the television set where a young Adelaide (Madison Curry) is watching a news segment about 1986’s “Hands Across America” charity event. The VHS spines read: “C.H.U.D.”, a handwritten sticker of what might be a home movie, “The Goonies” and “The Right Stuff.” It’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it type of moment, one that is otherwise insignificant, but strains of those four films all influence “Us.”

Peele’s sophomore effort is the type of genre film that will merit re-examination every few years, and it has the potential to stand among his greatest contributions to genre filmmaking.



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“What if I just showed you four episodes of This Is Us without explanation?” said Jordan Peele at the Paramount Theater in Austin before his film Us made its world premiere at SXSW.
After the screening, the film received an uproarious ovati…

17 Buzziest Movies Heading to SXSW This Year, From ‘Us’ to ‘The Peanut Butter Falcon’ (Photos)

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SXSW Film Festival is known for its horror film debuts, and this year, Austin, Texas, will attract big talent and famed filmmakers. Click through the gallery to see TheWrap’s buzziest titles.
“Us”
It was announced in January that Jord…

Bradley Cooper’s Dog Helps Win Him Win PETA’s ‘Oscat’ Award for ‘A Star is Born’

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Bradley Cooper wasn’t nominated for Best Director at the Oscars, but he just won an “Oscat” from PETA for Best Director for casting his dog, Charlie, in “A Star is Born.”

The animal rights organization’s Animals in Film and Television Division announced its winners of the Oscats on Tuesday, a list of the movies and stars who promoted kindness to animals through positive actions, storylines and CGI in 2018.

Cooper previously won an award from PETA called the “Compassion in Film Award” in October for the same thing. PETA additionally recognized “Black Panther” star Winston Duke, “Vox Lux’s” Natalie Portman and the films “Annihilation,” “Tully,” “Love, Simon” and “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” among others.

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Duke won Best Actor for playing the vegetarian tribe leader M’Baku in “Black Panther,” and the film also won The Cat’s Meow award for its CGI panthers and rhinos. Portman, recognized by PETA as a longtime animal rights advocate, won Best Actress for wearing an all-vegan wardrobe in “Vox Lox.”

Her other 2018 film “Annihilation” won Best Stunt Team for its all-vegan crew. “Tully,” directed by Jason Reitman, was named Birds’ Pick for its educational anti-factory farming moments. And “Love, Simon” and “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” tied for the Best SeaWorld Side-Eye award. “Love, Simon” describes the animals’ living conditions at SeaWorld as “really sad,” and the “Jurassic World” sequel was recognized for taking a “strong anti-captivity stance.”

“PETA’s Oscats show that fur and leather are dead, SeaWorld is considered the pits, vegan eating is exploding, and CGI is the future of film,” Lisa Lange, PETA’s senior vice president said in a statement. “PETA is thrilled to recognize the people and projects behind Hollywood’s most significant animal rights advances of the year.”

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PETA also awarded Oscats to “Isle of Dog” for Best Animated Film for its creatively rendered, cruelty-free imagery, and “Free Solo” and “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?,” which tied for Best Documentary for highlighting notable vegetarians.

The In Memoriam award was dedicated to Stan Lee for creating characters who inspired a generation of fans to act with compassion and stand up against injustice. The winners will each receive a framed certificate.

Other films awarded included “Mowgli,” “The Meg,” and “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” specifically for Donald Glover’s fur-free jacket for Best Costume. The full list is available here.

Last year, PETA similarly recognized “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” “Ferdinand,” Guillermo del Toro, Frances McDormand, Andy Serkis and Doug Jones.

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Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ to Open 2019 SXSW Film Festival

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Jordan Peele’s “Us” will be the opening night film at the 2019 SXSW Film Festival, South by Southwest Conference and Festivals announced on Tuesday.

The thriller will have its world premiere on March 8 in Austin, Texas. It’s Peele’s follow-up to his 2017 directorial debut “Get Out,” a breakout hit that earned him an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

“We are crazy excited to world premiere the most anticipated film of 2019 from the creative powerhouse that brought us ‘Get Out,’” SXSW director of film Janet Pierson said in a statement. “We honestly couldn’t imagine a more perfect film to kick off the 2019 SXSW Film Festival.”

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“Us” stars Lupita Nyong’o and fellow “Black Panther” star Winston Duke as a married couple who take a trip to a Northern California summer beach home along with their children, and meet another couple portrayed by Elisabeth Moss and comedian Tim Heidecker.

Nyong’o slowly becomes paranoid about her children’s safety, and as she becomes more concerned, they witness four figures in red suits holding hands at the end of their driveway. Those figures aren’t just anyone, but exact replicas of themselves.

See Video: Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Trailer Shows a Terrifying New Nightmare

Peele, who wrote and directed the film, also produces for his Monkeypaw Productions banner, alongside Monkeypaw creative director Ian Cooper. Sean McKittrick and Jason Blum are also producing.

“Us” opens in theaters on March 15, 2019. SXSW will release its full feature slate on January 16. This year’s festival will take place from March 8 to March 17.

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Spoil that Christmas cheer with a terrifying trailer for Jordan Peele’s Us 

Read on: The A.V. Club.

A couple weeks ago, Jordan Peele jacked up the hype for Us—the follow-up to his groundbreaking horror masterpiece Get Out—with a spooky new poster showing a figure in red wearing a single fingerless glove and a golden pair of scissors that were designe…

Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Trailer Gives Nightmares on Christmas Morning (Video)

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Don’t be fooled, those red jumpsuits in the trailer for Jordan Peele’s “Us” aren’t there because the characters are in a festive, Christmas spirit.

On Tuesday, Peele and Universal stuffed our stockings with the first trailer for his new film, the follow-up to 2017’s breakout film “Get Out,” which saw him win an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Peele first teased audiences with a chilling poster that featured a character wearing a sadistic looking glove while holding a sinister pair of elongated golden shears. And this first trailer finally gave us an idea as to what those are all about.

“They look exactly like us. They think like us,” Lupita Nyongo’s character says in the trailer. “They won’t stop until they kill us, or we kill them.”

Also Read: Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’: Lupita Nyong’o Is Bloodied, Beaten and Fierce in First Look (Photos)

“Us” stars Nyong’o and Elisabeth Moss in a film that Peele told Entertainment Weekly is a “monster mythology,” drawing on influences as classic as “The Shining” and as recent as “The Babadook.”

Nyong’o and fellow “Black Panther” star Winston Duke play a married couple who take a trip to a Northern California summer beach home along with their children, where they meet another couple portrayed by Moss and comedian Tim Heidecker. Nyong’o slowly becomes paranoid at her children’s safety, and as she becomes more concerned, they witness four figures in red suits holding hands at the end of their driveway. And as this trailer reveals, those figures aren’t just anyone, but are exact replicas of themselves.

“Us” opens in theaters on March 15, 2019. Watch the first skin-crawling trailer for Peele’s sophomore film above:

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Winston Duke has had quite a year. Not only did the Yale School of Drama alum make his feature film debut, but it happened to be in “Black Panther” playing M’Baku. “It’s been a blessing,” Duke says. “A lot of things come with this. It’s a l…

Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’: Lupita Nyong’o Is Bloodied, Beaten and Fierce in First Look (Photos)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Lupita Nyong’o has seen better days in the first look images shared by Entertainment Weekly for “Us,” Jordan Peele’s new horror movie arriving early next year. She’s bloodied, beaten down and with what looks like handcuffs around her hand, while wielding a bar as a weapon in an underground corridor.

And is that a “Handmaid’s Tale” vibe we’re getting from another image in which Nyong’o and her co-star Winston Duke (“Black Panther”) are standing together in the night in matching red jump suits?

It’s a fitting comparison, because Nyong’o co-stars with Elisabeth Moss in the film that Peele tells EW is a “monster mythology.”

Entertainment Weekly

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“I wanted to do something that was more firmly in the horror genre but still held on to my love of movies that are twisted but fun,” Peele said.

EW also teased a few more story details about “Us” along with the images of Nyong’o. Nyong’o and Duke play a married couple with two children who spend the day at a summer beach home in Northern California with another family, played by Moss and Tim Heidecker. But Nyong’o has a trauma-filled past of her own, and as they spend more time together, she becomes increasingly paranoid that something bad might befall her family, especially when they witness four figures in red suits standing holding hands at the end of their driveway.

Nyong’o told EW that Peele was on her wishlist of directors to work with and that in preparation, Peele had her watch 10 different horror films, including recent favorites like “The Babadook,” “It Follows” and “Let the Right One In,” as well as classics like “The Birds,” “The Shining” and “The Sixth Sense.”

Also Read: Julianne Moore, Lupita Nyong’o and Mindy Kaling Indies Lead Diverse 2019 Sundance Lineup

Duke described his character to EW as a “lovable, but flawed” parent and something of a Homer Simpson-esque father figure. Their children are played by Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex.

See the first images from “Us” via EW below. “Us” opens on March 15, 2019.

Entertainment Weekly

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Musician Post Malone Joins Mark Wahlberg, Winston Duke in Netflix Film ‘Wonderland’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Musician Post Malone is set to make his feature film debut, joining Mark Wahlberg and “Black Panther” breakout star Winston Duke in the upcoming Netflix film “Wonderland.”

Post Malone (born Austin Richard Post) recently won a 2018 MTV VMA for Song of the Year for “Rockstar,” which featured 21 Savage, from his second studio album “Beerbongs and Bentleys.”

“Wonderland” follows ex-convicted felon Spenser as he uncovers the truth about a sensational murder and the twisted conspiracy behind it.

Alan Arkin, Iliza Shlesinger, Bookem Woodbine, Hope Wilson and James DuMont were also added to round out the cast.

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The film is being adapted from “Robert B. Parker’s Wonderland,” written by Ace Atkins.  The book is part of the Spenser Series — named after a fictional character in a series of detective novels initially written by the American mystery writer Robert B. Parker and later by Ace Atkins.

Peter Berg is set to direct from a script adapted by Sean O’Keefe.

Long acknowledged as the dean of American crime fiction, Parker was named Grand Master of the Edgar Awards in 2002 by the Mystery Writers of America, an honor shared with earlier masters such as Alfred Hitchcock and Ellery Queen.

Parker’s Spenser character has been the basis for 48 novels, all New York Times Best Sellers

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Neal H. Moritz is producing “Wonderland” via his Original Film banner, alongside Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson and Berg via his Film 44 banner. Toby Ascher will serve as executive producer alongside Film 44’s John Logan Pierson.

“Wonderland” continues Netflix’s recent streak of landing big-name talent to bolster its original films under Scott Stuber, who was brought on to lead the company’s flush with cash film division in March 2017. This year alone, Netflix has potential award contenders in “22 July” and Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma.”

Post Malone is repped by UTA, London Entertainment & Electric Feel Management and Sedlmayr & Associates.

Woodbine, who is currently filming another movie for Netflix “In the Shadow of the Moon,” is repped by Gersh. Arkin is repped by ICM Partners. Wilson is repped by Abrams Artists Agency and Stride Management, and comedian Shlesinger is repped by WME and Avalon Management.

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20 Big Things We Learned From the ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Director Commentary

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Fans have been speculating about all kinds of things about “Avengers: Infinity War” since the movie came out. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo and screenwriters Chris Markus and Steve McFeely layered their culmination of 10 years of Marvel Cinematic Universe movies with references that cut right back to the MCU’s beginnings, and there are plenty of clues about what the future might hold scattered within, too.

In the home video release for “Infinity War,” the Russos and Markus and McFeely give feature commentary to go with the movie, and they reveal all kinds of interesting things about the film — plus, they confirm a few fan theories about what’s going on in the movie that might give hints about the events of “Avengers 4.” Here are all the interesting, cool and cryptic things we learned from the director commentary on “Infinity War.”

Kenneth Branagh was the voice of the Asgardian distress call

“Infinity War” opens almost directly after “Thor: Ragnarok,” the MCU movie which takes chronologically right before it. That movie ended with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) leading his people away from a destroyed Asgard. “Infinity War” picks up with Thanos (Josh Brolin) attacking the Asgardian “ark” ship. We hear a distress signal from the Asgardian ship at the start of the movie. Turns out, the person calling for help is Thor” and “Thor: The Dark World” director Kenneth Branagh, or Sir Kenneth if you’re feeling especially British.

Also Read: ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Post-Credits Scene Explained: What Logo Was That on the Pager?

Thanos assaulting Xandar to get the Power Stone was in a previous draft of the script

Markus and McFeely discuss how they went through multiple iterations of the “Infinity War” script, because they were developing it even before other MCU movies — notably “Black Panther” and “Thor: Ragnarok” — were completed, or even written. That meant there were multiple versions of the script. In the finished version of “Infinity War,” Thanos gets the Power Stone, which was left in the care of the Nova Corps of the planet Xandar in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” off-screen — he has it when he attacks Thor and the Asgardians.

One version of the script included a huge battle where Thanos attacked Xandar, but it was cut because it was pretty much a foregone conclusion, McFeely and Markus said. They figured the audience wouldn’t need yet another battle in which Thanos emerged victorious with an Infinity Stone, especially because that battle wouldn’t add much to the characters or plot.

The most interesting part of this nugget, though, was that in that version of the story, Thanos and Gamora ran into each other during the battle on Xandar Meaning in that version the crucial “find Gamora and get her to take Thanos to the Soul Stone” part of the plan wouldn’t just have been the result of an odd coincidence.

Also Read: James Gunn Appears in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Special Features With Other Marvel Directors

The filmmakers confirm Doctor Strange has a secret plan

One scene that’s key to understanding the later events in “Infinity War” is when Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) uses the Time Stone to look at “alternate futures,” the possible outcomes of the battle with Thanos. In that scene, Strange says he sees only one outcome out of 14 million in which the heroes defeat Thanos. Not much more is said after that, but the implication is that his actions from that point, including surrendering the Time Stone to Thanos to save the life of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), are all part of the sequence of events that need to happen to create that victorious future.

During the commentary, the filmmakers talk about Doctor Strange’s character and what he knows at several points, and more than once the Russos and the screenwriters confirm that Doctor Strange knows a lot more than he’s letting on — the term “ominous prophecy” comes up during that scene. While they’re cryptic about it, they’re still strongly implying that everything that happened on Titan, at least, was part of Strange’s plan based on his vision.

Read more about Doctor Strange’s big plan here.

Hulk isn’t scared of Thanos, he’s tired of bailing out Banner

The “Infinity War” arc for Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and his alter-ego, the Incredible Hulk, is that Banner can’t summon the Hulk to help fight Thanos’ lieutenants, the Black Order, when they attack Earth. Hulk starts the movie by getting absolutely thrashed by Thanos, and after that, every time Banner tries to get the Hulk to come out and fight, he refuses.

Also Read: ‘Infinity War’: Thanos’ Snap Also Killed Animals, Marvel’s Kevin Feige Says

The Russos put to bed the idea that Hulk refused to come out to fight the Black Order because he was afraid of Thanos after his definitive defeat. Instead, the issue is more of a culmination of Hulk and Banner’s ongoing issues — the two sides of the same person hate each other and are constantly battling for control of their shared body. Hulk resents the fact that Banner only wants him around when he needs to smash things. In the movie, Banner is forced to deal with his own problems, rather than continually rely on Hulk.

They blew on Tom Holland’s ear to make his hair stand up (not really)

When Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is introduced during the Black Order’s attack on New York, his hair stands up — visual representation of his “spider-sense” that helps Peter detect and avoid danger. In the commentary, the Russos joke that to get Tom’s hair to stand up, they just “blew gently on his ear.” They reference the fact that they made same joke during an “Anatomy of the Scene” video for the New York Times, but don’t reveal how the effect is really achieved in “Infinity War.” Turns out, it’s just CGI.

Even the filmmakers don’t really know how much time passes over the course of the movie

During the scene when Peter Parker sneaks aboard the Q ship, the Russos and the screenwriters took some guesses at just how much time passes between Thanos’ arrival and the snap at the end of the movie. They didn’t have a firm answer, putting it probably about two days, at the outside. They’re just like us!

Thanos’ plan isn’t a plot hole, it’s a character thing

The filmmakers spent a lot of time talking about the inner and emotional life of Thanos, especially in terms of his relationship with his adopted daughter, Gamora (Zoe Saldana). During the scene on Knowhere, in which Thanos uses the Reality Stone to trick Gamora into thinking she killed him, they talk about how messed up Thanos is — because even though he’s manipulative and abusive, he thinks he’s been good to Gamora.

That led to a discussion of Thanos’ overall plan, and a “plot hole” a lot of people have brought up since the movie was released: If Thanos can use the near-limitless power of the Infinity Stones, instead of killing half of all life in the universe (which he says is to stop the suffering and death created by too many people competing for not enough resources), why not just double all the resources in the galaxy?

Also Read: Here’s How We Think ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ Links ‘Infinity War’ to ‘Avengers 4’

Well, apparently that wasn’t a permanent enough solution for ole Thanos, an egotistical maniac with a messiah complex who is on a quest to save the universe his way and no one is going to be able to convince him his plan sucks.

Here’s a bit more about how Thanos’ plan was actually logical — by his own insane standards.

And why not just use the Reality Stone if it can, like, alter reality?

While discussing Thanos’ use of the Reality Stone to trick Gamora, the Russos also brought up a time when a fan questioned why Thanos couldn’t just use the Reality Stone to enact his plan, since it seems to alter the physical makeup of reality. We see it turn real objects to bubbles and people into ribbons or rocks; why bother gathering all six Infinity Stones if this one is so cool? The answer is that, really, the Reality Stone just doesn’t have enough power. The filmmakers also mentioned that while the Reality Stone seems to have an incredible amount of power, it’s mostly illusory. When it turns Drax (Dave Bautista) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) into rocks and ribbons, respectively, the effect doesn’t last because it’s more of a short-term trick.

The movie’s inciting incident is Thanos finding out about the Soul Stone

One question that lingers in “Infinity War” is why Thanos hasn’t gotten around to grabbing up all the Infinity Stones before now. In the past, we’ve seen him try to gather them using intermediaries — he sent Loki (Tom Hiddleston) to conquer Earth and steal the Tesseract for him in “The Avengers,” which contained the Space Stone, and he dispatched Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) to get the Power Stone in “Guardians of the Galaxy.” But why did it take Thanos so long to go on his all-out campaign to get the stones? According to Markus and McFeely, the game-changer was when Thanos found out that Gamora knew the location of the Soul Stone.

Also Read: ‘Avengers: Infinity War’: Here’s What the Comics Might Tell Us About Tony Stark’s Kid

The Soul Stone was the only Infinity Stone that was never teased in the MCU before “Infinity War,” and in the movie, Thanos reveals that he tortured Nebula (Karen Gillan) and found out that Gamora knew of the stone’s location. The screenwriters say that it was that knowledge that turned the tide for Thanos; he previously used agents to go after the stones because he didn’t want to tip off the universe to his genocidal plan and have everyone array against him. When he found out that Gamora could lead him to the Soul Stone, he kicked off his campaign to get the other stones in earnest, creating the events of the movie.

Read more about why Thanos took so long to strike here.

Markus and McFeely had ‘a fetish’ about bringing back Red Skull

The idea to make Red Skull (Ross Marquand) the guide to the Soul Stone on Vormir served a purpose for the script, but it also fulfilled a longtime wish for the movie’s writers. The pair have written all three of the “Captain America” movies, and really wanted to bring the Red Skull, who was the villain in “Captain America: The First Avenger,” back to the MCU. Vormir gave them that opportunity, since they said they needed a reliable guide to the Soul Stone whose information audiences would believe immediately.

As an added bonus, go back and rewatch “The First Avenger” to see for yourself how well Red Skull’s appearance in “Infinity War” is supported by his fate in the earlier film.

Also Read: ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ — Yes, The Keeper of the Soul Stone Was Who You Thought It Was

The Wakandans’ chants on the battlefield were ad-libs

Portions of “Infinity War” and “Black Panther” were being made simultaneously, which meant that Joe and Anthony Russo didn’t know a lot of the ins and outs of Wakanda. The decision to set the third act of “Infinity War” in the country was made before “Black Panther” was released to critical and audience acclaim. When the “Black Panther” actors showed up for their big battle scene, though, they already knew their characters — so the powerful Wakandan chants led by M’Baku (Winston Duke) and T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) were ad-libs by the actors.

Read more about how the success of “Black Panther” was a real benefit to “Infinity War” here.

The Russos say Shuri is the smartest person in the MCU

It’s not too big of a tease for the future that the “Infinity War” directors consider Shuri (Letitia Wright) the MCU’s smartest super-genius, especially since it’s the reason the heroes bring Vision (Paul Bettany) to Wakanda to get the Mind Stone removed from his head. But with some fans speculating that Shuri could be the successor to Tony Stark and Iron Man in the future of the MCU, it could be loaded comment.

Rocket’s quip about ‘space dogs’ came from a focus group

The Black Order uses an army of multi-limbed alien lizards to attack Wakanda’s energy shield, and the heroes have to fight a horde of the beasts. After the Russos showed the movie to an early test group, one person described those aliens as “space dogs.” The directors said they thought the description was funny enough to turn it into a line for Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), which he uses while firing away at the creatures alongside Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), shouting, “Come and get some, space dogs!”

Also Read: ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ — Here’s What Happened Next in the Comic Book Version of the Story

Star-Lord’s joke about his plan for catching Thanos was an ad-lib

On Titan, when the Guardians of the Galaxy, Tony Stark, Peter Parker and Doctor Strange manage to tie up Thanos, they very nearly get the Infinity Gauntlet off his hand. Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) rockets over a few seconds later, as everyone struggles to keep Thanos tied up, and says, “I thought you’d be hard to catch — for the record, this is my plan.” The joke about the plan was an ad-lib by Pratt.

Speaking of the Guardians, read more about the deleted “Infinity War” scene that definitely should have been in the movie.

There was a draft of the script in which Captain America didn’t show up until Wakanda

Markus and McFeely wanted the arrival of Captain America (Chris Evans) to carry a huge amount of weight, coming after the character’s two years of exile following the events of “Captain America: Civil War.” They achieved that with Cap’s entrance in the Edinburgh scene, alongside Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), but in some of the other drafts of the script, the screenwriters wanted to push the entrance even farther. One draft, they said, had Cap’s first appearance being in Wakanda, when he rockets out of the trees to save Vision’s life as he grapples with bad guy Corvus Glaive (James Michael Shaw). The screenwriters say they were told holding Cap back for that long would be a huge mistake — and then, after thinking about it, decided those people were absolutely right.

Captain America’s big character arc is in ‘Avengers 4’

Grappling with so many characters in one movie was tough, which left Captain America without much character development in “Infinity War.” The screenwriters said that, since they knew “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers 4” would be two parts of the same story all along, they were able to leave the bulk of Cap’s personal story to the second part. During the commentary, the filmmakers mentioned that Cap has “a big story” in “Avengers 4.”

Also Read: ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ – The Infinity Stones Could Have Their Own Agenda

That orange place Thanos goes at the snap is, in fact, the Soul World

Speculation has run rampant about the nature of the Soul Stone, which, in the comics, contains a whole world where the souls of people killed by the stone are trapped and reside. Fans have figured that the orange place where Thanos winds up briefly after he achieves the snap, where he meets a young Gamora, was the Soul World. In the commentary, the Russos said, “Of course it’s the Soul World,” which likely means the place will have a big part to play in “Avengers 4.”

There’s an actual story reason why Spider-Man took longer to die than everyone else

Most of the characters who fell victim to Thanos’ cosmic finger snap turned to dust in a second or two, but Peter Parker managed to hold out for nearly 30 seconds after uttering his much-memed “Mr. Stark, I don’t feel so good” line. Apparently, according to Joe Russo, they decided when they filmed the scene that they wanted to draw it out a bit to increase the emotional impact of the whole thing, and they justified it by telling Tom Holland that “you’re using your strength as Spider-Man to fight this.” Which is a fascinating, and believable, bit of lore that they apparently came up with on the fly.

Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet were permanently damaged by the snap

When Thanos snaps his fingers at the end of “Infinity War” and gets his wish, a huge amount of energy is expelled, and the Gauntlet and Thanos’ arm are singed by it. In fact, the snap looks like it hurts Thanos pretty badly. The Russos confirmed in the commentary what they’ve said before: using the Gauntlet took a toll on Thanos. What’s interesting is that the filmmakers used the word “permanently” to describe the damage done to both the Mad Titan and his weapon. Sounds like that could have implications for Thanos and the Gauntlet in the future, and maybe, how they can be beaten.

Also, imagine if Thanos is dead at the beginning of “Avengers 4,” having succumbed to that gaping chest wound. Hoo boy.

Also Read: Here’s What Happened to Thanos When He Snapped His Fingers in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

The final shot of Thanos contains a comic Easter Egg

Eagle-eyed fans will notice that when Thanos comes out of his hut on the unnamed planet at the end of “Infinity War” after achieving his goal, there’s a figure in the bottom-right corner of the frame. It’s a scarecrow, one made out of Thanos’ armor from the beginning of the movie. That’s a nod to the Marvel comics, in which, after the “Infinity Gauntlet” storyline, Thanos leaves the life of villainy to become a farmer, and uses his armor to make a scarecrow in his field.

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Winston Duke is ready to rumble, signs on for Kimbo Slice biopic Backyard Legend

Read on: The A.V. Club.

Winston Duke made millions of new fans as beefy vegetarian M’Baku in Black Panther—which, believe it or not, was his first feature film role. Now he’s set his first starring film role, as Deadline reports: He’ll be playing late MMA fighter Kimbo Slice …