Nope’s Jordan Peele Calls the Film the Great American UFO Story

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Part of the brilliance of a Jordan Peele project is the mystery that surrounds each film prior to its theatrical release. The trailers are masterfully cut to show audiences just enough to cause intrigue, and with each new trailer, more layers are peeled away to reveal even more questions. In an interview with Fandango, stars Keke Palmer, Oscar-winner Daniel Kaluuya, Oscar-nominee Steven Yeun, and Brandon Perea join Peele, Oscar-winning director and writer, to discuss the creation of Nope and what audiences can expect to take away.

In the interview with Fandango’s Jacqueline Coley, the cast of Nope got together to talk about the experience of working with Peele, and about what Peele’s intentions were going into his third film. With the release of a behind-the-scenes featurette by Universal earlier this month, the crew explained some of the more technical aspects of production, including that it was filmed on 65mm and IMAX, and from the trailers released we see a massive, sleek UFO. According to Peele, the intention behind his third film was, at its core, to be a spectacle. He wanted Nope to be visually striking, and for the sheer magnitude of IMAX to be a necessity to the plot. He said, “Well, you know, I wrote it in a time when we were a little bit worried about the future of cinema. So the first thing I knew is I wanted to create a spectacle. I wanted to create something that the audience would have to come see.”

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As far as the storyline, Peele has tackled multi-layered themes in his movies from the suppression and marginalization of Black people to holding a mirror up to society in Us and saying, ‘Hey, maybe you’re the bad guy this time.’ Since his first film, Get Out, Peele has employed the use of the horror genre to convey his messages, and says of Nope, “It’s a horror epic, but it has some points in it that are meant to elicit a very audible reaction in the theater.” In the interview, Palmer mentions that Peele uses a sort of “commercial aspect” to his movies to reel the audiences in and fill the seats to then hit them with the unexpected. In this case, Peele described Nope as “the great American UFO story,” and said that it “deals with spectacle and the good and bad that come from this idea of attention.”


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When asked what fans could expect from Nope, Perea said:

“Just something different, something totally new. I think Jordan’s changed cinema already, he’s gonna do it again. They gave him an opportunity to do something on a massive scale. He’s operating at the highest level so it’s insane that you’re giving this auteur director this type of platform to really speak and tell story, and to do it from his style with this type of spectacle. It’s gonna blow people’s minds.”

Peele has a propensity for storytelling, so fans can go in expecting to take away something deeper than an action-packed alien invasion horror — that’s just the bonus. When discussing the use of horror, Yeun said “…in those genre set-ups it’s easy to maybe rely on the tropes, but really I think we’re all looking for something deeply human. And that’s what makes it unsettling.” What makes a horror movie unsettling and memorable is the humanity of the characters, and Peele spoke on the way he wrote each one for Nope, starting by knowing who he wanted in the film to begin with. After reaching out to the actors, Peele would write and form the characters with their input on how they would react to specific situations. Palmer said, “I was shocked because of all of the different archetypes he was able to put in each character,” allowing her to portray a character of depth rather than, like Yeun said, a trope.


For Jordan Peele films the craft doesn’t end with production. The magic in the speculation surrounding each sneak-peek paves the way to its theatrical release date. According to Perea, Nope “…is way different than anything he’s ever done!”

All will be revealed when Nope hits theaters on July 22. Check out the interview with Fandango below:

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