Jordan Peele’s directorial debut, the 2017 thriller movie Get Out, has been named the greatest script of the century (so far). This isn’t some random poll conducted by Film Twitter, though; this accolade comes from the Writers Guild of America West (WGA).
The WGA revealed its list of 101 Greatest Screenplays of the 21st century (so far) on December 6, and it was Peele’s Get Out that triumphed, beating competition from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Social Network, to claim the top spot. In the accompanying letter, the WGA call Get Out “this list’s version of Casablanca” and make an interesting comparison about the difference between writing a scrip in this century compared to the last.
“Imagine Jordan Peele pitching his concept to Jack Warner, and it immediately becomes apparent why comparing screenplays across Hollywood epochs is a non-starter,” Paul Brownfield wrote for the WGA. “We weren’t making art, we were making a living,” screenwriter Julius Epstein famously quipped of the studio system under which Casablanca was written. Get Out wasn’t conceived and written under any such restrictions.”
Get Out was one of the best-received movies of 2017, both critically and commercially. It grossed $255 million worldwide on a meagre $4.5 million budget, that alone would have made Peele a rising star in Hollywood but the awards recognition were the cherry on top.
The American Film Institute and Time magazine named it one of the year’s best films. It also broke the horror movie Oscars curse and received four nominations at the Academy Awards, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Original Screenplay. As you might expect, Peele won the Oscar for his screenplay, although the movie lost out on the other nominations.
Peele’s next movie Nope is shrouded in secrecy at the time of writing, but we know it will see him reunite with Get Out leading man Daniel Kaluuya and it’s set for a July 22, 2022 release.