Jordan Peele has managed to dip his toes into plenty of different genres over the course of his career. After starting in comedic roles on Mad TV and Key & Peele, he penned the Oscar-winning screenplay of the recent horror film Get Out, and now Peele will try out his hand at sci-fi in his next project. Set to air for YouTube Premium, Jordan Peele's Weird City may turn out to be a quirkier but just as creepy version of Black Mirror.
Vulture reports that Peele and co-creator Charlie Sanders, who also worked on Key & Peele, will write six half-hour comedy episodes for the upcoming YouTube Premium series. Formerly known as YouTube Red, YouTube Premium only launched this month, but with Peele linked to the new streaming platform, it looks like the service has a bright future in sight. YouTube Premium released a statement about the anthology series, saying:
Weird City is an anthology set in the not-too-distant future metropolis of Weird. Each episode is an exploration of issues that pertains to present day life, stories that could only be told now through the prism of sci-fi and comedy.
The news of the series comes shortly after Peele's company Monkeypaw Productions signed a TV deal with Amazon Studios. Although it's unclear if Peele will continue working with YouTube Premium beyond Weird City, his willingness to work with the rising subscription service definitely speaks wonders about the site's potential to create strong, unique shows.
In his own statement about the Weird City project, Peele said:
Writer/creator Charlie Sanders and I collaborated on some Key & Peele sketches that took on everything from the ‘Black Republicans’ to 'Continental Breakfasts’ to ‘Family Matters.' Now, with YouTube we present a series of comedy driven twisted-ass science fiction stories that take place in a world close to ours but just a little bit off.
It sounds like Weird City will be totally up your alley if you've binged through all of Black Mirror and need more fatalistic stories about how humanity is doomed. While some Black Mirror episodes leave me too terrified to even pick up my phone, perhaps the comedy that Weird City promises will ease the fear that typically sets in after Black Mirror reminds us that robots are taking over the world.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Peele has actually been working on Weird City for several years, and it originally had a potential home at Hulu. Although Weird City is shipping out to YouTube Premium rather than Amazon Studios, he already has other works lined up at the latter, including a Nazi hunters drama, The Hunt, and a documentary series about Lorena Bobbitt, who famously cut off her husband's penis in 1993 and tossed it out her car window. Peele will also work on a Twilight Zone reboot that is set to premiere on CBS All Access. Clearly, Get Out is just one in a long line of insane-but-sometimes-true stories that Peele has prepared for the screen.
Although there's a fine line between horror and sci-fi, Weird City could veer into horror territory depending on how well its stories sit with viewers. Peele has previously talked about the differences in working on comedy versus horror, and his reasoning totally sounds like it also applies to the sci-fi genre. He told the publication AJC:
The similarity between comedy and horror is the importance of pacing. In both genres you have to build tension and release it very strategically. Everything I learned in my comedy career really came in handy.
When I think of sci-fi, I think of Stranger Things, Westworld, and even Lost, all of which thrived on proper pacing. After all, Weird City takes place in a world that isn't quite ours, so I definitely anticipate a very realistic series with some insane twists that come out of nowhere.
Weird City is due out on YouTube Premium in 2019.