Nope: Jordan Peele Teases How His New Thriller Explores the "Addiction to Spectacle"

Jordan Peele's genre efforts have largely been mysterious affairs, with audiences not comprehending the full extent of their horrors merely by watching teasers and trailers, and while the upcoming Nope is clearly about visitors from outer space, the filmmaker recently noted how the film will also lean into the idea of the "addiction to spectacle." As evidenced by the trailers, rather than merely being about the existence of otherworldly beings, the film looks to showcase the reaction to such visitors in a community, which includes repeated interactions between our world and the alien threat. Nope lands in theaters on July 22nd.

"I started off wanting to make a film that would put an audience in the immersive experience of being in the presence of a UFO," Peele expressed to Empire. "I wanted to make a spectacle, something that would promote my favorite art form and my favorite way of watching that art form: the theatrical experience. As I started writing the script, I started to dig into the nature of spectacle, our addiction to spectacle, and the insidious nature of attention. So that's what it's about. And it's about a brother and sister and healing their relationship."

The film reunites Peele with Oscar winner Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out, Judas and the Black Messiah), who is joined by Keke Palmer (Hustlers, Alice) and Oscar nominee Steven Yeun (Minari, Okja) as residents in a lonely gulch of inland California who bear witness to an uncanny and chilling discovery. Nope, which co-stars Michael Wincott (Hitchcock, Westworld) and Brandon Perea (The OA, American Insurrection), is written and directed by Jordan Peele and is produced by Ian Cooper (Us, Candyman) and Jordan Peele for Monkeypaw Productions. The film will be released by Universal Pictures worldwide.  

In addition to the full details of the mysterious experience being kept hidden, Nope also replicates how Peele's previous films come with cultural commentary alongside the abject horrors.

"The part of African-American history that this addresses more than anything is the spectacle-ization of Black people, as well as the erasure of us, from the industry, from many things," Peele pointed out. "I think in a lot of ways, this film is a response to the Muybridge clip, which was the first series of photographs put in sequential order to create a moving image; and it was a Black man on a horse. We know who Eadweard Muybridge is, the man who created the clip, but we don't know who this guy on the horse is. He's the first movie star, the first animal trainer, the first stunt rider ever on film, and no one knows who he is! That erasure is part of what the lead characters in this movie are trying to correct. They're trying to claim their rightful place as part of the spectacle. And what the film also deals with is the toxic nature of attention and the insidiousness of our human addiction to spectacle."


Nope lands in theaters on July 22nd.

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