Variety announced that white hot director Jordan Peele, fresh off the success of his amazing thriller Get Out is teaming up with HBO for a new original series titled Lovecraft Country. It’s based on a book of the same name by author Matt Ruff. The series is about a road trip in the 1950s filled with horrors of mankind along with malevolent spirits that could be ripped from a Lovecraft paperback.
Since the success of “Get Out” Peele signed a first look movie deal with Universal. Expect more from him soon.
*If you’re not sure what a “first look” deal is, it’s basically a deal Jordan has signed with Universal Pictures that will pay him a lump sum of money (usually for 1-3 years depending on the deal) for the rights to read and potentially produce any feature film he writes. Now if Universal reads it and passes on it, then Jordan can take it to any other studio and try to sell it.
These deals are awesome for filmmakers, you get a huge check each month from the studio just so they have the rights to look at your stuff first.
I worked for a major TV studio and remember seeing a check that was cut weekly to a highly sought after television creator who had a few hit series. His weekly check for his television “first look” deal was in the ballpark of about $78,000 every week. That money was just so the studio could look at whatever he wrote for television first. This was in 2003, so I’d imagine paychecks have increased.