Jordan Peele: I Thought ‘No One Would Trust Me’ as a ‘Black Director’

Jordan Peele‘s newest movie, Nope, is aptly titled, as a mysterious flying object over ominous clouds in the film’s first act makes it clear this is not your average alien horror flick.

Fans have been waiting for the next project from the Oscar-winning writer/director following his 2017 hit Get Out and box office record-breaker follow up, Us, in 2019. The New York native has since become a cultural phenomenon for his work in the horror genre, by producing shows and movies like 2019’s The Twilight Zone and 2021’s Candyman.

Four years after the incredible success of Get Out, Peele reunited with the film’s breakout star, Daniel Kaluuya, for the sci-fi western that focuses on close encounters with the supernatural — with a little bit of humor sprinkled in for good measure.

The Academy Award-winning screenwriter announced the “new terror” flick in July 2021 with a tweet of the movie’s artwork, which included a mysterious cloud formation hovering over a town. The poster noted the exact date for the movie’s release — July 22, 2022 — but no other information, save for a cloud emoji.

For Nope, Peele brought on Kaluuya, whose role in Get Out led to his first Oscar nomination. While he didn’t take home the award, the British-born actor went on to win Best Supporting Actor in 2021 for his performance as Fred Hampton in Judas and the Black Messiah.

Peele also recruited Keke Palmer as the film’s female protagonist, in her largest feature role since 2019’s Hustlers. Steven Yeun, another recent Oscar nominee for his performance in Minari, is also supporting the cast. The South Korea native has plentiful experience working with thrillers since starring in The Walking Dead from 2010 – 2016 and in 2018’s Burning.

Rounding out the cast is Barbie Ferreira, Brandon Perea, Michael Wincott, Donna Mills and Keith David.

Very little was shared about the plot of the film prior to its release other than the tagline which described the film as “a new terror from the mind of Academy Award winner Jordan Peele.”

A teaser for Nope dropped in February 2022, and more of the story was revealed, showing Kaluuya and a very charismatic Palmer playing the owners of Hollywood’s first and only Black-owned horse training ranch. Their lives get turned upside down when a spacecraft begins to hover over their expansive desert locale, taking off through the mountains.

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A final trailer was released in June 2022, detailing more of the story. When Kaluuya and Palmer’s characters’ father drops dead off his horse and ends up with an obliterated eyeball, the siblings and their resident ranchers seek to capture footage of the UFO and make a profit. We also get a look at Yeun’s character as a cowboy performer, presenting to an audience before they all become distracted by a mysterious object above.

Speaking with TODAY in June 2022 ahead of the film’s premiere, the Big Mouth actor detailed how much his race as a Black man “informed” his “entire artistic journey” on the project.

“Part of it has been trying to reconcile the box and the boxes that this country puts people of color in, and trying to break out of that box,” the producer, who wrote Get Out based on his own experiences with systemic racial anxiety. “I think it’s impossible to make any movie without it being about race, because race is all around us. You can’t have Black people in a flying saucer film, and just have it be the same experience. There’s a different relationship.”

The Mad TV alum noted the importance of adding a touch of comedy, even though he aimed for the movie to be scary.

“I do consider it a horror film in that horror is my favorite genre and I hope it honors horror,” he said.

Scroll through to find out everything you need to know about the upcoming horror flick: