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Read the Screenplay for ‘Nope’ and Go Deeper into Jordan Peele’s Alien Mystery

Exclusive: Unlock the sinister, alien-among-us secrets of Peele's splashy summer horror movie now getting a revisitation courtesy of awards season.

NOPE, director Jordan Peele, on set, 2022. ph: Glen Wilson / © Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection


©Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

Jordan Peele dazzled and dazed audiences in summer 2022 with his splashy, big-canvas horror movie “Nope,” about aliens (or perhaps alien) among us and our capacity for making a spectacle of them and ourselves. The film, centered on the Haywood family siblings (Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer) who run a Hollywood horse ranch, drummed up more than $170 million at the box office. Even at year’s end, “Nope” remains a film of much fascination and speculation in terms of its images and symbols, both bewildering (that upright shoe, anyone?) and terrifying (there was nothing scarier on screens this year than the image of Jupiter’s Claim attendees getting sucked up into the void of Jean Jacket).

Now, as an IndieWire exclusive, you can read the full screenplay for Jordan Peele’s “Nope” here. The script should help fans unlock, or at least more closely examine, some of the more sinisterly out-there mysteries at the heart of the movie, like the sitcom chimpanzee Gordy who opens the film and how his onscreen exploitation resonates with later, thematically similar moments.

What the script isn’t going to tell you is the full backstory of the film’s UFO, though as Peele pointed out in an earlier interview with IndieWire, he did have to develop one behind the scenes. “I feel strongly that you have to do a certain amount of work that the audience can feel even though you are not showing it. I think that way with character, history, I think that way with the UFO in question,” said Peele. “This is something I can feel in some of my favorite directors. Paul Thomas Anderson and Quentin Tarantino, to name a couple, I think are people who feel like they are painting a small picture in a world that’s already painted, but also we see the success of this in Marvel and ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ and everything that goes deeper than what you’re being shown.”

Universal is currently pushing “Nope” in Oscar categories including for Best Original Screenplay, which Peele previously won in 2018 for “Get Out.” Keke Palmer also received the Best Supporting Actress prize from the New York Film Critics Circle, which she will collect at the ceremony January 4.

Read the script for “Nope,” written by Jordan Peele.

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