Why Jordan Peele Resists Question About Us’ Ending And The Tethered

Lupita Ntong'o in Us

Jordan Peele's Us was a movie that was absolutely chilling in the way it presented a horror movie villain that was a dark reflection of ourselves. The "Tethered," as they came to be called, were like us, but twisted in ways that made them seem inhuman. The movie leaves a lot of questions unanswered about where the tethered came from and where exactly they are going, but if you want to know what's going to happen next, don't ask writer/director Jordan Peele, he's not talking.

Peele appeared at a recent screening of Us and during a Q&A session hosted by Collider, the director was asked about the ambiguous ending of the film, that sees the Tethered stretching from coast to coast in an unbroken Hands Across America-like chain. What exactly is going to happen to them now? Peele says that, in the end, what happens next doesn't matter. According to the director...

I’d resist to actually answer that question because you never know what could happen. But I think part of the answer you’re looking for is that to the Tethered it doesn’t matter. Their purpose is the expression and there was something kind of terrifying to me – we see it all the time today – terrifying to me about the idea of violence as expression because it’s an inevitable force … I feel like what happens after is fascinating but irrelevant to the Tethered.

While Jordan Peele admits that what happens as the credits role on Us might be fascinating, it's ultimately not relevant. The point of the Tethered is to express an idea, and the movie has done its job in that regard. Sometimes "it doesn't matter" is a perfectly acceptable answer. Ambiguous endings are meant to be ambiguous, and no answer is likely going to satisfy.

We've seen how the connection between people and the Tethered works through the family of Lupita Nyong'o's character. While that family has survived, the Tethered as a group have succeeded in their plan, at least as far as creating their human chain. At the same time, we see that the Tethered haven't exactly caused a massive breakdown of society. There are helicopters in the air watching the Tethered as the movie fades to black. One assumes the police and the military are still going to be dealing with this threat, but what happens when they collide, is up to the viewer to suggest.

Of course, if what happens next isn't important, then we probably shouldn't expect a sequel to come anytime soon. While Jordan Peele had expressed at least some interest in the idea at the time, it doesn't feel like Peele's comments here lend themselves to the idea of a followup. While I certainly wouldn't say no to visiting this world again, it does feel like we know everything that's important now and answers might only make the movie less terrifying, and that would be truly terrible.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.