The writer-director revealed to The New York Times that he has more stories to tell within the “Nope” universe. The U.F.O. adventure film starred Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer as Hollywood horse trainers determined to capture an extraterrestrial presence on film. Steven Yeun, Barbie Ferreira, Brandon Perea, Keith David, Donna Mills, Andrew Patrick Ralston, and Michael Wincott round out the cast.
Yet eagle-eyed fans of Peele’s third feature, following “Get Out” and “Us,” drew attention to an uncredited character listed as Nobody on IMDb, played by Michael Busch.
“People are doing a lot of interesting detective work, is what’s going on,” Peele explained. “The story of that character has yet to be told, I can tell you that. Which is another frustrating way of saying, I’m glad people are paying attention.”
Peele addressed a follow-up, saying, “I do think they will get more answers on some of these things in the future. We’re not over telling all of these stories.”
The former “Key and Peele” sketch comedy writer-actor added that when he was writing the film in 2020, he saw it as a way to draw audiences back to theaters.
“Everyone was saying that movie theaters as we know them might be gone — for me, the theatrical experience is everything. It’s my link to myself and other people in so many ways and has taught me to love film,” Peele said. “So I just wanted to make a movie that people would have to go to the theater to see. In a way, if I was going to tell any story, I would want to tell something that was an escape into an immersive experience.”
“Nope,” which is “claustrophobic” and yet “massively out of any sense of control,” according to Peele, proved to be a cathartic indictment of the entertainment industry as a whole, as evidenced by an alien feasting on humans and animals alike as part of a pay-to-witness program, plus a haunting ’90s sitcom that ends in disaster. Here’s hoping to a “Gordy’s Home” prequel as the “Nope” follow-up…
“Part of the true fear of this thing is being not just a victim, but one of many victims who are all screaming together is, I feel, a particularly helpless feeling,” Peele said of constructing the alien. “So I built, essentially, a tunnel, a tract, that we were ushering people through. And then there’s a larger sense of the interior of that space. It’s much more like a theater in itself. And there’s something of a bouncy-castle-from-hell energy going on with the way it conducts wind and all.”
“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.”