[Editor’s note: The following story contains spoilers for “Nope.”]
Writer-director Jordan Peele just peeled back one more layer of his alien blockbuster “Nope.” Over the weekend, the Oscar winner took to Twitter to share the full scrapped intro to the fictional “Gordy’s Home!” sitcom that starred Ricky “Jupe” Park, portrayed by Jacob Kim and later Steven Yuen in the film, alongside a key chimpanzee star.
The clip is styled to look as if it’s straight off a VHS recording, and it uses the opening credits for “Gordy’s Home!” to a pivotal plot point for Peele’s film, showing a fist bump between Jupe and Gordy. In the film, the chimp in question went on a maniacal killing spree during an on-set live taping in the 1990s, an event that stays with Jupe throughout the rest of his life.
“Get ready for lift off,” the opening credits starts, while Gordy’s astronaut family is introduced. The show stars Tom Bogan, Phyllis Mayberry, and Mary Jo Elliot (portrayed by Andrew Patrick Ralston, Jennifer Lafleur and Sophia Coto, respectively), plus Jupe (Kim) while jingle “(You’re a) Strange Animal” plays in the background. Gordy and Jupe look through a telescope together, hinting at the later crux of the mystery-thriller when an adult Jupe (Yuen) exploits an extraterrestrial being for a country sideshow amusement park.
Hints of what happened during the “Gordy’s Home” shoot open the film (and as Peele told IndieWire, that wasn’t always the planned opening), and the full horror of what transpired is later revealed toward the middle of the feature.
Filmmaker Peele exclusively told IndieWire that the emphasis on a “bad spectacle” is what drove the message behind the horror-adventure feature starring Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer. What better way to show off such an idea than through the lens of entertainment, like a cutesy sitcom run amok?
“When you’re on a road, and there’s an accident [and people are rubbernecking], what you’re talking about [is] trauma as entertainment,” Peele explained. “It’s intrinsic enough in our DNA that traffic slows down when there’s a spectacle to be seen, a bad spectacle. Everyone likes some form of horror or darkness. We need it. We need to contend with these things, whether it’s coming to see my movies or your procedural television that just goes to the darkest place of all time every night, but somehow you go to sleep OK. We need this.”
The “Get Out” writer-director continued, “Horror [films] and the people who try to capture their nightmares and show it, I have to think and hope that it provides some catharsis for some people.”
The image of a UFO was the ideal tabula rosa to lay the groundwork for the messaging of the dark side of filmmaking.
“There’s something about the flying saucer that’s always scared me because it’s this minimal shape that kind of shouldn’t exist, shouldn’t be able to move,” Peele continued. “It’s a blank slate of sorts. Part of the idea of a flying saucer, or a UFO, especially one that resembles the traditional one people have been trying to photograph for a long time, [is that] it’s kind of a mask. People want to know what’s inside, and once you have that, you have an engine for a scary movie.”
Watch the full clip below.
— Jordan Peele (@JordanPeele) July 24, 2022