Jordan Peele Reveals ‘Nope’ Is About ‘Our Addiction to Spectacle and the Insidious Nature of Attention’

The “Get Out” filmmaker also explains how Black creators have had “skin in the game” since Hollywood’s beginnings

Steven Yeun NOPE
Universal Pictures

Jordan Peele is not one to give away any secrets about his films, but in a new interview he discussed some of the themes that will drive his latest movie “Nope,” saying that it’s a movie about our fascination and even “addiction” to spectacle.

The most recent trailer for “Nope” provided a little more plot details and insight into Peele’s latest, revealing that it’s about a pair of siblings who witness the ominous presence of a UFO on their ranch. But like “Get Out” and “Us,” the horror film is bound to be more thoughtful and purposeful than that.

“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,” Peele said in an interview with Empire. “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.”

Peele also explained the reasoning behind the Eadweard Muybridge piece he used to open the first trailer. The clip shows a Black man riding a horse and is the first-ever series of photographs that were put in sequential order to make a moving image. In the film, Keke Palmer’s character claims that from the very start, Black people had “skin in the game” in the movie business – but Peele had a reason beyond trivia reason for including it.

“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,” Peele said. “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” opens in theaters July 22 and also stars Daniel Kaluuya and Steven Yeun.