Review: Henry Selick and Jordan Peele collaborate for rewarding and offbeat ‘Wendell & Wild’
“Wendell & Wild,” an original and entertaining science-fiction comedy from director Henry Selick and writer/director/producer Jordan Peele, is the first film to have Jordan Peele as a writer and director, and the first film to have Henry Selick as director. The two met while working on two short films, “Pete’s Dragon” and “Redshirts,” for which Selick would provide the script and Peele the direction.
Peele, in addition to being best known for being on FX’s “Atlanta” and “Atlanta Ballet,” is a former child of the South, and has had three feature films (“Malcolm X,” “Idle Hands” and “Get Out,” each of which was a commercial and critical success) and a TV series based on his life (“Orange Is the New Black,” another critically and commercially successful series), plus a number of award-winning web series, as well as other TV shows and films.
Selick, who grew up in North Carolina and later graduated from high school in Baltimore County, Maryland, is a former child actor and singer/songwriter, and, after graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design with a degree in fine arts and film studies in 1978, he worked as a painter and a graphic designer until 1993, when he enrolled in the directing program at the New York Film Academy (NYFA), where he graduated as the school’s first female and only black graduate. He soon began directing theatrical features and television series, which eventually led to him working on Selick’s first feature film, 2005’s “Malcolm X.”
The pair married in late 2006, and in 2008, they relocated to Atlanta, where Peele formed his own production company, Troma Entertainment. Selick and Peele began collaborating on original feature films and other projects, including “Election” and “The Imitation Game,” for which they both won Best Original