Why Jordan Peele and Daniel Kaluuya Could Be the Next Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks

Several director-actor duos are instantly iconic, including John Ford/John Wayne, Steven Spielberg/Tom Hanks, and Quentin Tarantino/Samuel L. Jackson. As a result, moviegoers love seeing how these dynamic duos work together over their careers. Nope filmmaker Jordan Peele and actor Daniel Kaluuya are the newest and hottest to hit Hollywood, who could be the next Spielberg/Hanks.

Jordan Peele and Daniel Kaluuya have a close bond

Jordan Peele and Daniel Kaluuya standing next to each other in purple and black suits, respectively. Peele is smiling and Kaluuya has a straight face as they stand in front of a waving inflatable arms man.
L-R: Jordan Peele and Daniel Kaluuya | JC Olivera/Getty Images

In a recent interview with Hypebeast, Peele talked about his career thus far, his vision for Nope, and where his projects are headed from here. He doesn’t have an interest in telling other storytellers’ narratives but continues to inject his voice into his motion pictures. Additionally, Peele and Kaluuya are officially a dynamic duo after working together on the Oscar-winning Get Out and, now, Nope.

“So cool,” Peele said about working with Kaluuya again. “You know how a director’s dream is to find an actor that you’ll bond with and you’ll work with over and over again. I feel like I’ve found that in Daniel. We just have a connection and we trust each other. We’ve been through it, and we just have a way of communicating that’s almost non-verbal at this point.”

Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks developed a similar relationship

The bond that Peele and Kaluuya developed is rare, but it does happen in Hollywood. Spielberg and Hanks certainly had a similar relationship, which led to them working together on a total of five movies. They collaborated on The Terminal, Bridge of Spies, The Post, Catch Me If You Can, and Saving Private Ryan.

Time once reported on Spielberg and Hanks speaking on their actor-director bond. Spielberg noted that Saving Private Ryan was the first time that they actually “cast” each other.

“It’s funny because a couple of times it’s been my idea, once it’s been Tom’s idea, and once it was that we decided independent of each other,” Spielberg said. “Once Tom read the first draft of a script and I read the first draft of a script and we called each other on the phone at the same moment and decided to do it together—that was Saving Private Ryan. That was the one time that he cast me and I cast him.”

Hanks also had something to say about how his bond with Spielberg evolved over the course of working together.

“We developed a language that was all about how we read history for pleasure,” Hanks said. “We were constantly reading biographies or histories, searching out the documentaries we’d never seen. From that came this dialogue based in, ‘Did you hear about this? Did you read this? Did you see this? Are you reading that now?'”

Hanks continued: “It’s no surprise that the first thing we did was based on the vision of history we never cease reading about, and it just goes on and on; can’t quite get enough of it. We really had this shorthand. His version of cinema is all his, and instinctive, my version of acting is completely [mine], so we never really talked about the specifics of it.”

Director-actor duos can boost a movie’s performance

Critics and audiences already drew comparisons between Peele and Spielberg, so it makes sense to extend this to their duos with actors Kaluuya and Hanks, respectively. Some folks claimed that Nope does to the skies what Jaws did for the ocean. Regardless of one’s take on that statement, it’s clear that Peele draws some inspiration from the visual spectacle of Spielberg’s works, such as Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

When an actor and director are comfortable working together, it allows for creativity to flourish. Peele talked about non-verbal communication with Kaluuya, while Spielberg and Hanks also have their own language that they connect with. As a result, they have a stronger understanding of one another as artists. Therefore, there’s a greater sense of collaboration.

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