Steven Yeun’s star is rising this year big time, with major credit due to his leading role in Lee Isaac Chung’s Best Picture-nominated “Minari,” for which Yeun is also up for Best Actor. The actor also known for TV’s “The Walking Dead” and for Lee Chang-dong’s cult favorite “Burning” is in negotiations to star in the new film from writer/director Jordan Peele, Universal has confirmed to IndieWire. Universal Pictures has set a release date for July 22, 2022.
Peele is also producing his hush-hush followup to “Get Out” and “Us” with Ian Cooper through his Monkeypaw Productions’ exclusive five-year deal at Universal Pictures. As previously announced, “Akeelah and the Bee” and “Hustlers” star Keke Palmer will play the female lead in the film, opposite Yeun. Also previously announced, “Get Out” Daniel Kaluuya is in talks to re-team with Peele for the upcoming film also. Kaluuya is up for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar this year for “Judas and the Black Messiah.”
Elsewhere, Steven Yeun is reuniting with his “Minari” distributor A24 for a 10-episode, half-hour comedy series at Netflix co-starring Ali Wong. The television project, Yeun’s first regular live-action TV gig since wrapping his run as Glenn Rhee on “The Walking Dead,” is backed by A24. The project is titled “Beef” and follows two people who let a road rage incident burrow into their minds and slowly consume their every thought and action.
Yeun’s historic Academy Award nomination for “Minari” makes him the first Asian American ever included in the Best Actor category. Yeun is nominated for the Best Actor Oscar alongside Riz Ahmed for “Sound of Metal,” Chadwick Boseman for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Anthony Hopkins for “The Father,” and Gary Oldman for “Mank.”
“Minari” is up for six Academy Awards altogether, and is vying for a handful of SAG prizes this weekend, including for Steven Yeun, Supporting Actress Youh-jung Young, and for Best Ensemble.