Academy Award-winning filmmaker Jordan Peele is making a documentary which he promises will change how the public perceives the Old West, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The writer-director is set to executive produce a project “which dismantles the whitewashed mythology of the cowboy” as well as expand on the ideas his 2022 thriller Nope explored. The documentary will stream on Peacock.

Keith McQuirter has been attached as the project’s showrunner, executive producer and director.

Jordan Peel on the history of Black cowboys

Jordan Peele between posters of Get Out and Us.

The documentary is described as: “The untitled Black cowboy docuseries will rewrite a foundational piece of American history, unmasking the forces that erased the identity of the Black cowboy from frontier history and present. Stories of real cowboys will take viewers on a thrilling odyssey that connects to the heart of the resurgence of Black cowboy culture that we see today across music, art, fashion and film in a three-part series to premiere on Peacock.”

The series is Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions’ first documentary project.

Universal Studio Group chairman Pearlena Igbokwe said in a statement, “Nope gave a nod to the deep history of Black cowboys in America, and this docuseries offers a full exploration of their lives and contributions to today’s cultural landscape. Told through the singular lens of Jordan Peele, this series is every bit as entertaining as it is enriching.”

He added, “It’s been a thrill for [Universal Television Alternative Studio] to collaborate with Jordan, Monkeypaw, Keith and the team on what is a truly special project, and we’re excited to share it with fans.”

Monkeypaw’s latest movie is the wildly successful Dev Patel-helmed and starred action film Monkey Man.

Peele’s last movie was 2022’s Nope. The film followed the story of the horse-wrangling Haywood siblings, Otis Jr. (Daniel Kaluuya) and Emerald (Keke Palmer) who are trying to capture evidence of the existence of an unidentified flying object in Agua Dulce, California.

Peele said that he was partly inspired to write the movie during the COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020 as well as the “endless cycle of grim, inescapable tragedy” that occured during the pandemic.

How Nope inspired Peele’s latest project

Nope dealt with themes of spectacle and exploitation. Gerrick D. Kennedy from GQ highlighted “the erasure of black contributions” to filmmaking history in the movie. The New Yorker’s Richard Brody also mentioned Peele’s choice of the space creatures targeting a black-owned horse farm as “a sardonic vision of the universality of racism.”

The movie also features scenes from the 1972 Western film Buck and the Preacher, which starred Sidney Poitier. The director told the Associated Press that he chose to highlight the movie because it was “the first film that I know of that had Black cowboys represented in it. The myth that cowboys were just white guys running around, it’s just not true, but we don’t know that because of Hollywood and the romanticized view of a very brutalized era.”

From the 1860s to 1880s, Black cowboys in the American West made up an estimated 25% of the population. After the American Civil War and the Reconstruction of the South, freed slaves were still denied ownership of land and other rights in many of the states. Between 1879 to 1884, approximately 20,000 Exodusters or African Americans who migrated from the southern states to Kansas in the late 19th century, headed west to Kansas.

A smaller number went to other Western states. This was considered the first general migration of black people after the Civil War.

Many of the Exodusters or those part of the Exoduster Movement of 1879, trained with Mexican vaqueros (horse-mounted livestock herders) and cattle-raising Native Americans. They were able to work as ranch hands for wages that were almost equal to white people. This type of work also offered more opportunities than what was available to freemen in the South.