Hollywood, CA – The brilliance of Jordan Peele’s Us lies in its urgency to compel moviegoers who have seen the gripping thriller to think about what it all means. From the creepy rabbits to the mumbling-tethered clones and the mind-bending analysis Us necessitates, the Get Out director explained the film’s puzzling plot twist and eerie use of Luniz’s “I Got 5 On It” on the Empire Film podcast Tuesday (March 26).
Initially, Peele chose the essence of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker number “Sugar Plum Fairy” for 14-year-old Adelaide’s ballet recital, but after seeing it on screen, he thought of it as too “old school” and “pretentious.”
“I always thought that ‘I Got 5 On It’ had this haunting, and this is why we used this song in the first place, this haunting lick to it,” he said. “At the same time, it’s just a total banger…The idea came to have Michael [Ables] go off on his live strings and deconstruct that song.”
Peele worked on Us for nearly two years and it pulled in more than $100 million at the box office upon its release with Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o and Avengers: End Game actor Winston Duke as its lead stars.
Jordan revealed one of the major themes of the blockbuster film is duality, which is what the rabbits symbolized.
“There are several things going on with the rabbits for me,” Peele explained. “One of the big ones is Easter. A celebration and holiday that is very much about duality in itself. It’s the rising from this grave. This movie as you know is sort of like this dark Easter. It is a return; a rising of a messiah after a metaphorical death of sorts.”
Overall, Peele wants fans of the film to explore what the movie ultimately means to them and look towards themselves.
“This movie’s about maybe the monster is you,” he further revealed. “It’s about us, looking at ourselves as individuals and as a group. The protagonist in the movie is the surrogate for the audience, so it felt like at the end of the day, I wasn’t doing my core theme any justice if I wasn’t revealing that we have been the bad guy in this movie. We’ve been following the villain. I say ‘villain’ lightly because I think there are many experiences of the film, and I think a lot of people go through a question of what is good and evil? Does that even exist? Both characters are lovable and terrifying, based on the lives they’ve led they’ve just sort of inverted the paths.”
He also breaks down the film’s final scene when Adelaide gives her son a mysterious smile as he pets his new rabbit ominously.
“Adelaide and Jason sharing that moment at the end, I’m purposefully leaving it a bit vague as to what exactly he knows or how far he’s come in figuring out what, if anything, he’s figured out,” he revealed. “I think the little smile she gives him is a lot of things. I think it’s a connection to the evil smile she once had as a little girl, but also a sort of understanding that her family unit was stronger from this experience.”
Jordan Peele’s latest project is a revamp of The Twilight Zone, which made its debut Monday (April 1) on CBS.
Listen to Jordan Peele explain Us plot twists on The Empire Film Podcast below.