Jordan Peele's new horror film "Us" has already pocketed $70 million in it’s opening weekend and there is a special something for Jaws fans - one of the characters, Jason, is seen wearing a classic Jaws t’shirt! But one simply does not put a character in a major movie into a Jaws t’shirt.
In a recent interview, Peele explained that he had to reach out to Steven Spielberg himself to get one memorable costuming decision approved: the "Jaws" shirt that Jason is wearing when his unsuspecting family first drives to the beach.
"First of all, obviously [Spielberg's] films have influenced me a great deal. One of the first things I did when I finished the script was… I want[ed] to put Jason in a 'Jaws' shirt. So I reached out to Steven… begged him… I said, is there a 'Jaws' shirt I can use for this film?"
Fortunately, Spielberg approved the costuming choice, and actor Evan Alex was able to wear the shirt and in the process nod to the popular 1975 film. Spielberg was also thanked in the film's credits.
"It was such a validating moment for the design of this film that we were able to get that." Peele concluded.
There are many pop culture and movie references in Us, each very specific and deliberately chosen, including "Goonies" and Michael Jackson's "Thriller.” Besides the t-shirt, ‘Jaws’ appeared to influence the beach scenes several times in both visual and textual clues.
Costume designer Kym Barrett explained further that the choice of the "Jaws" shirt had a very particular meaning. "It builds up this generational myth and also cements [the setting] in California, Hollywood, movies and horror," she told them.
"Everything in this movie was deliberate, that is one thing I can guarantee you, unless you didn't like something and that was a complete accident." Peele jokes.
Us is on general release now.