Universal Studio Group (USG) today announced that it has entered a multi-year overall deal with producer, director and Academy Award(R) and Emmy(R) award-winning writer Jordan Peele and Monkeypaw Productions, headed by President Win Rosenfeld. Peele, who signed an exclusive five-year production partnership with Universal Pictures in 2019, wrote, directed and produced the hit films “Get Out” and “Us” that together grossed more than $500 million worldwide. This past weekend, Universal released Monkeypaw and MGM’s “Candyman,” which was directed by Nia DaCosta and co-written by DaCosta, Peele and Rosenfeld, to No. 1 at the domestic box office, becoming the first movie from a Black female director to achieve this milestone. Peele and Rosenfeld have established Monkeypaw as the premier destination for original storytellers with films that speak to a global audience, and they will build on their success in film with this new partnership with USG.
Today’s announcement was made by Pearlena Igbokwe, Chairman, Universal Studio Group. The new deal will cover Peele and Monkeypaw’s television development and production. The partnership coincides with USG’s notable history of working with top creators to produce content across broadcast, cable and streaming platforms.
Igbokwe said, “The term ‘visionary’ is thrown around all too frequently in our business but in the case of Jordan Peele, it could not be more apt. He brings a clarity of purpose as well as cultural specificity to everything he does, and audiences worldwide have responded. I am truly honored that Jordan and his partner Win Rosenfeld have chosen our studio as their TV home for the foreseeable future.”
Universal Television President Erin Underhill, who worked closely with Igbokwe to bring in the deal, added, “In the short amount of time I’ve spent with Jordan, Win and the fantastic Monkeypaw team, I have no doubt this will be a fruitful and fun collaboration. Given the diverse range of ideas we discussed, the sky’s the limit!”
“We are so excited to partner with Pearlena and the incredible team at USG to produce the future of Monkeypaw’s television slate,” says Monkeypaw president Win Rosenfeld. “Their expertise, creativity and collaborative spirit is an ideal match for our company. This opportunity to continue making dynamic, diverse programming, while deepening our relationship with NBCU, is truly thrilling.”
In less than five years, Monkeypaw has grown into a cutting-edge production company with film and television projects that have tapped into the cultural zeitgeist. Monkeypaw is also committed to increasing representation on-screen in the characters that are portrayed, the stories that are told, and the people who tell them with a robust slate of work across multiple platforms. Peele first gained recognition in TV as the co-star and co-creator of the Emmy(R)-winning “Key and Peele.” The viral series garnered more than one billion online hits and won a Peabody Award, an American Comedy Award and earned 12 Emmy(R) Award nominations during its five-season run. Peele’s first feature film, Universal’s “Get Out,” was released in 2017 to widespread critical praise. The film earned four Academy Award(R) nominations and won Peele the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. In 2019, Peele wrote, produced and directed his second feature, “Us,” which instantly became a smash hit with audiences and critics alike, posting the largest box-office opening for an original horror movie ever.
On the TV side, Monkeypaw produced the Emmy(R) Award-winning show “Key and Peele” on Comedy Central; the Tracy Morgan comedy series, “The Last O.G.” at TBS; and the Emmy(R)-nominated “The Twilight Zone” for CBS. Most recently, they released “Lovecraft Country” on HBO, which was nominated for 18 Emmy(R) awards and won the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Horror Series, and BAFTA TV Award nominations. Monkeypaw is currently in production on the second season of the Golden Globe(R)-nominated “Hunters” for Amazon.
In addition to critically acclaimed and commercial hits for Universal, including “Get Out,” “Us,” and “Candyman,” Monkeypaw also produced and released “BlacKkKlansman” for Universal’s specialty label Focus Features.
Peele and Monkeypaw Productions are represented by CAA, Principato-Young and Jared Levine.
About Monkeypaw Productions
Monkeypaw Productions was founded by Jordan Peele in 2012. Monkeypaw’s aim is to tell stories in comedy, horror and all genres in between, and to give a platform to untapped voices in those mediums. Previously in TV, Monkeypaw produced the Emmy(R) award winning show KEY & PEELE on Comedy Central, the Tracy Morgan Comedy series, THE LAST O.G., at TBS, and Emmy nominated THE TWILIGHT ZONE for CBS. Most recently they released the Emmy(R) nominated LOVECRAFT COUNTRY on HBO, which earned 18 Emmy(R) nominations and won the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Horror Series and BAFTA TV Award nominations. They are currently in production on the second season of the Golden Globe nominated HUNTERS for Amazon. On the feature side, Monkeypaw has produced and released hit films US, along with the Academy-Award winning titles GET OUT, and BLACKKLANSMAN. Monkeypaw just released CANDYMAN through Universal to number one at the domestic box office. Directed by Nia DiCosta, produced and co-written by Peele and Win Rosenfeld, and produced by Ian Cooper, it marks the first film directed by a Black woman to debut at number one.
About Universal Studio Group
Universal Studio Group is comprised of Universal Television, UCP, NBCUniversal International Studios and Universal Television Alternative Studio. Collectively, the four powerhouse studios produce over 3000 hours of programming currently airing or streaming around the globe, own one of the largest libraries in the world with over 120,000 episodes of television, and house some of today’s most ambitious storytellers, including Justin Lin, Tina Fey, Robert Carlock, Michael Schur, Sam Esmail, Seth MacFarlane, Dick Wolf, Lorne Michaels, Debra Martin Chase, Martin Gero, Gareth Neame, Larry Wilmore, Nahnatchka Khan, Sera Gamble, Tony Ayres, David Heyman, Julie Plec, Carol Mendelsohn, Tanya Saracho, Patrick Macmanus and Nick Antosca, among others. Universal Studio Group also houses NBCUniversal Formats, bringing a diverse slate of non-scripted and scripted formats to the global market. Additionally, the studio group’s podcast platform, USG Audio, produces original podcasts such as “The Lost Kids” and “The Followers: House of Prayer,” while its graphic novel imprint, USG Graphic, develops and publishes original comic books, including “Proctor Valley Road.” Universal Studio Group is a division of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information for a global audience.