Wendell & Wild’s New Trailer Hints At A Key & Peele Fan Surprise


While Wendell and Wild might sound like a laugh-a-minute comeback from Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key, Key & Peele viewers may want to temper their expectations for director Henry Selick’s long-awaited comeback. Henry Selick’s movies have a unique tone, to say the least. While his unfairly-maligned 2001 effort Monkeybone flirted with the R-rated, adults-only animations stylings of Ralph Bakshi, most of Selick’s movies straddle the line between cute and creepy.

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Acclaimed cult hits like The Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline earned family-friendly ratings, but also earned their places on innumerable “Creepiest Kids Movies Ever” lists over the years. Now, Selick is staging a comeback with the animated Netflix horror-comedy Wendell and Wild,and this new movie looks even darker than his usual fare. Thus, while Wendell and Wild might be one of 2022’s most anticipated horror movies, viewers should know that the latest Selick movie could be darker than expected.

According to its latest trailer, Wendell and Wild won’t be the broadly comedic Key & Peele comeback that viewers might have anticipated. Since it was announced that sketch comedy legends Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key would be reunited to play a pair of nefarious eponymous demons in Wendell and Wild, viewers familiar with the pair’s classic comedy series Key & Peele might reasonably have expected Selick’s movie to recreate their well-worn comedic dynamic. Indeed, the first images from Wendell and Wild depicted a little-and-large pair of demons who resembled Key and Peele’s usual deadpan straight man/wild-eyed goofball duos. However, the latest trailer for Henry Selick’s new movie doesn’t focus on the comedy of Wendell and Wild, instead foregrounding the movie’s creepy atmosphere.

Why Wendell and Wild Looks So Dark

Wendell and Wild is rated PG-13, which is a rare feat for an animated movie. The latest trailer makes it clear that the Henry Selick movie will feature some of the director’s dark humor, but the Wendell and Wild promo doesn’t showcase the breezy chemistry between Key and Peele that the duo is famous for. Even though the pair play the title characters, Key and Peele are barely heard from in the Wendell and Wild trailer. The promotional clip makes Wendell and Wild look more like a dark animated horror akin to the underrated, influential kids horror stop motion movie ParaNorman (although even that 2012 hit didn’t earn itself a PG-13 rating).

However, this might be misleading. Wendell and Wild could well be saving Key and Peele’s comic roles in the movie until its upcoming release, and the promotional materials may play down the presence of the two stars to surprise viewers who expect something darker. Peele’s work in the horror genre surprised critics when reviewers expected the comedian to stay in his lane and produce more broad comedy, so Wendell and Wild might be reversing this trick and advertising the movie as a dark horror when Wendell and Wild will prove to be a more comedic and light-hearted Key and Peele reunion than its trailers promise. Whatever the case, the true nature of the Wendell and WildKey & Peelereunionwill become clear by the movie’s October release.

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