Get Out's Jordan Peele scares up a win for Best Original Screenplay at 2018 Oscars

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Mar 4, 2018, 10:49 PM EST

Jordan Peele has won Best Original Screenplay at the 2018 Oscars for his debut directorial feature, Get Out. The movie was released last winter on the same weekend as the 89th Academy Awards ceremony. Since then, it has gained critical acclaim (it's got a 99% on Rotten Tomatoes), $255 million worldwide, and a bunch of accolades in the run-up to Oscar Sunday. Peele is the first black screenwriter in history to win an Oscar and beat out the other genre contender in the same category, The Shape of Water (written by Guillermo del Toro & Vanessa Taylor).

“You guys are gonna mess up my jet ski, hold up," said Peele to the applauding and cheering audience before his acceptance speech, a reference to host Jimmy Kimmel offering a jet ski to the person with the shortest Oscar speech (a clever way to help the show finish on time). Peele continued on to thank everyone for seeing his movie, the studio executives who helped make it possible, his wife, and his mother (who taught him to love, even in the face of hate) while remarking on the film's importance. 

"This means so much to me," he said. "I stopped writing this movie about 20 times because I thought it was impossible, I thought it wasn't gonna work, I thought no one would ever make this movie. But I kept coming back to it because I knew if someone let me make this movie, that people would hear it and people would see it. So, I wanna dedicate this to all the people who raised my voice and let me make this movie."

The 39-year-old director/comedian attended the ceremony with a bloodied deer antler pin affixed to his lapel, a reference to the motifs of deer, antlers, and blood that pop up throughout the runtime Get Out

Peele's film is a psychological horror story that also explores race relations. It stars Allison Williams (Girls) and Daniel Kaluuya (Black Panther), the latter of whom was nominated for Best Actor; he lost to Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour). This is the first horror project in history to win this award, as Silence of the Lambs was the recipient of Best Adapted Screenplay -- in addition to Best Picture -- at the 1992 Academy Awards. 

Get Out was also nominated for Best Director and Best Picture, but lost to The Shape of Water in both categories.