Three months on, and we're still thinking about the hidden clues and meanings behind Jordan Peele's doppelgänger horror-thriller, Us. Luckily for the rest of us (pun intended), The Hollywood Reporter mined the film's home release for a cornucopia of behind-the-scenes goodies, including the writer and director addressing that fan theory about Adelaide's son, Jason (Evan Alex), being a member of the Tethered.
** WARNING! The following contains major plot spoilers for Us. **
"I have this kinda concept of Jason that he can sorta see through the veil," Peele said. "You can see these moments where he’s observing his mother and he’s meant to be a little step ahead of us, the most clever of us that’s sorta figuring out there’s something more to Adelaide’s story than we see."
That's certainly true by the end of the movie, when Jason — giving Adelaide (Lupita Nyong'o) a suspicious look as the Wilson family make their getaway in an RV — seems to piece together the fact that his mother was originally a member of the Tethered. In any case, the fire-loving Jason, like his athletic sister Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph), is, genetically speaking, half-clone.
“I always thought of the family in terms of a certain archetypal foursome," Peele added. "Adelaide is the leader, the captain. Zora is the warrior. She acts before she thinks and she kicks ass. Gabe [the dad, played by Winston Duke] is the fool, even though on the surface he looks like he might be the leader or the warrior. And Jason is the wizard. He’s the magician."
In addition, the filmmaker discussed his classic horror influences for including memorable objects like the red jumpsuits (a nod to Michael Myers), the fingerless gloves (a wink to Freddy Krueger), and the white rabbits (a twitch of the ol' whiskers to fantastical literary works such as Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland).
When it came time to direct his actors in their Tethered performances, Peele asked them to emulate the movements of finicky insects that often live in the dark. He also looked to movies about twins (see: The Parent Trap) to help him conceptualize certain shots that required both the Tethered and their human counterparts to appear in frame.
“One of the words that Jordan used to describe her movement was the word cockroach,” Nyong’o said. “The thing about cockroaches is that they scurry and it’s so hard to hit them, but then at the same time, they are so still that they can often go unnoticed."
Now available on digital platforms, Us arrives on DVD and Blu-ray tomorrow, June 19. The movie co-stars Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Anna Diop, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.
Here's hoping that the sequel pans out!