Nope movie facts – 10 Nope nuggets to know before your close encounter on August 12th

Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer and Steven Yeun in Nope, written and directed by Jordan Peele

Nope is 2022’s most mysterious movie – but we’ve found ten facts to blow the mind of any Earthling. From the real UFO site that influenced the plot to the links with Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, here are 10 need-to-know nuggets before the Nope release date on August 12th.

 

Daniel Kaluuya in Nope, written and directed by Jordan Peele

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Nope movie fact #1 – Director Jordan Peele had his leading man from the get-go

You know you’ve made it in Hollywood when you get to skip the audition. Having cast the British actor as the (almost) brain-harvested hero of 2017’s game-changing horror Get Out, Peele wouldn’t settle for anyone but Daniel Kaluuya as the lead in Nope.

I wrote Nope with Daniel in mind for the role – a humble man destined for an epic and otherworldly confrontation,” the director told Empire. “Daniel’s craft is on a different level, but it’s his warmth that grounds audiences even during points of absolute madness. You may be watching a nightmare, but when he’s on screen, at least you’ve got your brother with you, and that’s all you need.

 


Nope movie fact #2 – Nope has driven the Net nuts

This is the internet age. We demand to know everything, right this second. But Jordan Peele doesn’t care about your need for instant gratification, with the director sprinkling the faintest of breadcrumb trails in the build-up to Nope. “It’s one of the rare modern movies with this much hype around it,” wrote The Verge’s Charles Pulliam-Moore, “to make it this close to release date without the public knowing basically anything about it.

We guarantee Nope will make you drop your popcorn on August 12th. But perhaps the most concrete signpost to the content comes from Peele himself. Speaking at a recent Fandango panel event, he described the film as "the great American UFO story,” adding that it "deals with spectacle and the good and bad that come from this idea of attention. It’s a horror epic, but it has some points in it that are meant to elicit a very audible reaction in the theatre."

 


Keke Palmer in Nope, written and directed by Jordan Peele

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Nope movie fact #3 – It’s eerily similar to the story of America’s scariest UFO site

Take a Cadillac ride south from the US city of Ballard, Utah and you’ll reach the infamous 500-acre estate and one-time Native American reservation dubbed Skinwalker Ranch, reportedly a magnet for malevolent UFO touchdowns since the 1970s.

Jordan Peele has surely heard the Skinwalker stories – from the mutilated cattle to the red-eyed shapes prowling the shadows – and it can’t be a coincidence that his Nope premise of an isolated ranch ticks the same boxes. So, is the director about to make a socio-political comment on America’s indigenous people – or crank the horror dials full up with a Quiet Place-style creature feature?    

  


Nope movie fact #4 – It’s just been rated ‘R’

Following the Nope trailer drops – and their distinct lack of red stuff – a handful of Peele fans worried the director’s third horror movie wouldn’t be as brutal as the body shocks of Get Out and the scissor-stabbings of 2019’s Us. Breathe a twisted sigh of relief, then, at news that Nope has just been handed an ‘R’ rating in the US – pretty much guaranteeing there’ll be something disturbing about this movie to haunt your drive home.

Collider’s Marco Vito Oddo is convinced of Nope’s potential for nastiness. “There’s not much blood and violence in the Nope trailers,” he writes, “Still, since it seems to be about people who put themselves in danger for online fame and fortune, there’s very little chance every character in the movie will remain alive when the credits roll. Besides that, Nope is Peele’s take on the classic alien invasion trope, complete with spaceships stealing farm animals. So, we can expect some bloody encounters between humans and extraterrestrial beings.

Left to right: Daniel Kaluuya and Writer/Director/Producer Jordan Peele on the set of NOPE

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Nope movie fact #5 – Even your gran watched the first Nope trailer

If you want to gauge the anticipation surrounding Nope, consider this: in the first 24 hours after the first Nope trailer dropped – and with a little help from its TV debut during Super Bowl LVI – the footage went on to score 86 million views. If you don’t watch Nope on August 12, you’ll not only be missing a classic movie but letting a cultural phenomenon pass you by.

 


Nope movie fact #6 – Nope salutes an axe-swinging horror classic

The movie press has made comparisons between Nope and the intergalactic entries on Steven Spielberg’s filmography like 1977’s Close Encounters Of The Third Kind and 1982’s E.T.The Nope trailer has that ‘Spielberg face’ effect,” noted Slash Film, “of actors looking just offscreen in sheer awe (or terror), patented by the brilliant filmmaker himself.

But Vanity Fair’s Jordan Hoffman might be the first to notice the Nope trailer’s nod to a far nastier movie. “What’s curiously terrifying,” he notes, “are the titles that unexpectedly scroll over a static shot, evocative of Stanley Kubrick’s trailer for The Shining.

 


Steven Yeun in Nope, written and directed by Jordan Peele

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Nope movie fact #7 – The key character might be Steven Yeun’s rodeo host

Based on the Nope trailers, we’ve assumed that Nope would revolve around ranch-owning siblings OJ and Emerald Haywood (played by Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer). But maybe not. The Walking Dead’s Steven Yeun plays Ricky ‘Jupe’ Park, and according to Peele, the character might be more than the terrified rodeo announcer he appears to be.

The director has called Yeun’s character “pivotal”, and says he “embodies one of the central themes in the film”. As for the South Korean-born actor, he told the Mr Porter site that Park’s rodeo outfit might hint at a secret. “What’s interesting about a hat and a bolo tie is they can also be masks, and I’ve always been fascinated with that – a character’s mask. He’s someone else underneath all that. So am I.

 


Nope movie fact #8 – Peele started out winging it

Jordan Peele is an Oscar-winning filmmaker. He must have known exactly what he was doing when he embarked on Nope, right? Actually, as the 43-year-old New Yorker admitted in the behind-the-scenes featurette below, this third movie began on a wing and a prayer.

This whole film” says Peele, “is as ambitious a cinematic event as I’ve planned so far in my career. I tried to write a script that I didn’t know how to pull off – and then assembled a team to help me pull it off.

 


Daniel Kaluuya in Nope, written and directed by Jordan Peele

© 2022 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS. All Rights Reserved

Nope movie fact #9 – It’s a technical tour de force

Shooting in IMAX is not for the faint-hearted. These highly specialist cameras are hefty, heavy and can only be operated with an entirely different rig. “That’s pretty rare,” says Nope camera operator Kristen Correll of Peele’s decision to deploy a fleet of both IMAX and 65mm cameras. “The scale of this movie is so huge.

But then, for Peele, capturing the magnitude of whatever is looming in the sky above the Haywoods’ ranch required nothing less. “I think Nope stands apart from my other films,” he says in the ‘It Takes A Village’ featurette, “in that it’s a bigger adventure than I’ve ever tried to tell.

 


Nope movie fact #10 – It’s made for the cinema

Of course, Peele’s mission directive was to make a great movie. But having filmed Nope during the pandemic, the director told Fandango he also wanted this movie to kick-start the heart of horror cinema on the far side of Covid. 

The first thing I knew was that I wanted to create a spectacle,” explained the director. “I wanted to create something the audience would have to come see…

Nope Horse Title Treatment

 

Nope release date: 12th August 2022