With overwhelmingly positive reviews for Nope rolling in, it wouldn’t be all that surprising if Jordan Peele developed an inflated sense of self worth. Add on top of that fawning stans lauding his unprecedented genius, and, well, anybody would gain a healthy ego under those conditions.
But Peele is more than willing to humble himself and his own fans. Take this viral Twitter exchange for instance: On Wednesday, comic book creator Adam Ellis tweeted the certified fresh Rotten Tomatoes scores of the auteur’s films, writing, “I know this is a hot take but at what point do we declare Jordan Peele the best horror director of all time? Can you think of another horror director that had 3 great films, let alone 3 in a row? I can’t.”
This is indeed a hot take—too hot, even, for Peele himself. “Sir, please put the phone down I beg you,” he replies.
It would be more than a little embarrassing for Peele to accept that title when he only has three films so far. Not to mention, any average horror fan could probably rattle off a list of several directors who had three or more great films, if not in a row (Alfred Hitchcock, Wes Craven, Roger Corman, David Cronenberg, Brian De Palma are just a few of the names that popped up in the replies). Peele even had his own candidate, softening the blow of his first tweet with a follow-up reply: “Sorry. I love your enthusiasm but I will just not tolerate any John Carpenter slander!”
Regardless of anyone’s personal feelings toward Peele’s films, he is undoubtedly an era-defining director (horror or otherwise). How high he ranks within the horror canon is a matter of opinion, but also one that likely needs a bit more time and perspective to say with certainty. For Ellis’ part, he later tweeted, “I stand by all my bad opinions.”
Now, a really interesting debate would be whether a list of Rotten Tomatoes scores is an accurate reflection of a director or his films, but are we ready to have that conversation? Mr. Peele, please weigh in!