Get Out director Jordan Peele is set to produce a remake of The People Under the Stairs for Universal, updating the 1991 horror-comedy by Wes Craven.
Jordan Peele is set to produce a remake of The People Under the Stairs. Directed by Wes Craven, and featuring a cast which included Brandon Adams, Everett McGill, Wendy Robie, and A. J. Langer, the horror-comedy has grown in reputation since its release in 1991 thanks in part due to its subject matter.
The People Under the Stairs focuses on Poindexter “Fool” Williams (Adams) and his family, who face eviction by their landlords, the Robesons. Deciding to break into the home of the Robesons to steal their collection of rare coins, Williams and his cohorts find more than they bargained for. Over the decades, there have been reports of remaking the film into a television series. Now, ahead of its silver anniversary on November 1, The People Under the Stairs has found a big name to spearhead an update of Craven’s feature.
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According to Collider, Peele will produce the remake of The People Under the Stairs remake for Universal along with Win Rosenfeld via Monkeypaw Productions. Peele is not expected to serve as the director on the project and it’s unclear if either Peele or Rosenfield will be involved with writing the script.
The original has been cited by fans and analysts for its ruthless skewering of capitalism and gentrification, depicting the film’s main villains as cartoonishly grotesque versions of ostensibly upstanding landlords that are chiefly concerned with gathering wealth. This is familiarity territory for Peele, who examined questions of class and privilege with the 2019 film Us. In fact, in many of the stories he’s been drawn to, from the racial tensions of Get Out to the historical significance of Lovecraft Country, elements of social horror are often at the forefront of Peele’s interests both as a filmmaker and in the projects he selects. While specifics about the remake are still unknown, it’s clear that the themes of The People Under the Stairs fit right into Peele’s wheelhouse.
It’s evident, as well, that the ideas that Craven explored are sadly as relevant as ever. If anything, with the rise of social media, people have become even more aware of the vast inequalities which exist in society. Given that the original has become a favorite among horror fans, and taking into account the reputation which Peele has built up over the past few years, The People Under the Stairs remake should have no trouble finding an audience. The only question perhaps is how different, or ultimately the same, the Robesons will be portrayed as in the current climate.
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