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What to Expect from Jordan Peele’s ‘Nope’

Brace yourself for a new Jordan Peele horror movie. It’s gonna get intense.
Jordan Peele Nope Movie Poster
Universal Pictures
By  · Published on August 4th, 2021

Welcome to Great Expectations, a recurring series in which we break down the most essential information about an upcoming movie or show. In this edition, we look at what you can expect from — and where you can watch — the Jordan Peele movie Nope.

On July 22, 2021, Jordan Peele broke the internet by sharing the poster for his next movie, Nope, on Twitter. This was also the first we learned of its title.

Peele, who made his initial splash in the beloved Comedy Central sketch comedy show Key & Peele, became an instant favorite horror filmmaker in 2017 with his directorial debut, Get Out. That movie took away a whopping $255 million at the box office worldwide. And it earned four Oscar nominations, bringing Peele one home for Best Original Screenplay.

His next feature, the 2019 horror movie Us, saw a similar level of success, also scooping up $255 million worldwide. Not too shabby, Mr. Peele!

So it only makes sense that people are already losing their minds over Nope — even though its release is still a ways away. Understandably, people are scrambling for details about the elusive film. Fortunately for you, we’ve gathered a lot of the relevant intel here and will be updating as we know more.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Jordan Peele movie Nope:

Nope Release Date (and Where to Watch)

Great things come to those who wait. Keep that in mind when you read this next part. Jordan Peele’s Nope won’t be out for another year, with a US release date of July 22, 2022. Universal Pictures will release the movie in theaters. As part of the studio’s current deal with fellow Comcast outlet Peacock, the streaming service will have an exclusive on Nope‘s digital release at least four months after its theatrical run. Where it goes from there is unknown.

But Peele’s movies should be watched on a big screen to maximize the experience of sheer terror. So look out for it when tickets go on sale next summer!

Nope Cast

A stellar cast is one thing you can always count on in a Jordan Peele movie. From the brilliant Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out to the dazzling Lupita Nyong’o in Us, the filmmaker never seems to miss when it comes to picking talent. Especially for the lead roles. And it looks like Nope won’t be any different.

For Nope, Daniel Kaluuya is working with Jordan Peele again. He actually earned his first Academy Award nomination for his phenomenal performance in Get Out. And now he’s an Oscar-winner, from his second nomination garnered this year with Judas and the Black Messiah.

The cast also includes Keke Palmer (Hustlers), Steven Yeun (Minari), Barbie Ferreira (Euphoria), Brandon Perea (The OA), and Michael Wincott (The Crow).

The Plot of Nope

Unfortunately, the only people who know anything about the plot of Jordan Peele’s Nope are those who have actually worked on the movie. Fortunately, though, I have spent an unhealthy amount of time staring at and analyzing the poster. I believe that paired with my obsession with Peele movies makes me at least somewhat qualified to share my plot theories with the internet.

One thing we do know about Nope is that it’s definitely going to be a horror movie. The tagline reads: “a new terror from the mind of Academy Award winner Jordan Peele.” So we can pretty much rule out a story about a happy little animated cloud, or a rom-com about two meteorologists.

Theory #1

But what could this horror movie possibly be about? One good hint to go off of is the title: Nope. Let’s face it – we’ve all had those moments where we’ve watched a horror movie and shouted that word at the screen. Maybe it was the scene in Hereditary where Toni Collette appears on the ceiling. Or the opening of IT, where Georgie literally approaches a literal clown in a literal sewer. Or the chest-bursting scene in Alien.

These moments are so absurdly horrific. They feed our desire to be disgusted. They are essentially what make horror movies so darn good. So, there’s a chance that Jordan Peele will feed into those fears and perversions and Nope will be a movie that’s even more alarming than what we’ve seen from him before.

Theory #2

Of course, the movie could also go the other way. The phrase “nope” could be more of a description of the characters than the audience. Allow me to explain. A popular trope in horror movies is characters making extremely poor choices when faced with a terrifying entity.

Sometimes, like in John Carpenter’s The Thing, characters decide to split up when something horrible infiltrates their group. Other times, they read an obviously haunted book and raise evil spirits out of their slumber. Eric from The Evil Dead, we’re looking at you. And if we’re looking to hand out awards for the stupidest decisions ever made in a horror movie, the gold medal would probably have to go to Micah in the first Paranormal Activity for literally using a Ouija Board in a haunted house.

But what if characters just said “nope” and didn’t do the stupid thing?

That very well might be the case in Nope. In Get Out, Kaluuya’s character actively resists sketchy things that are asked of him. The sort that a typical horror protagonist probably wouldn’t resist. Like a sketchy hypnotherapy session with a sketchy hypnotherapist. Plus, imagine if a character says “nope” to all of the horrible situations they encounter and still dies. How chilling would that be?

Theory #3

But there’s more to analyze about Jordan Peele’s Nope than just its title. After all, the filmmaker has kindly gifted us with a detailed image that contains a deluge of easter eggs to feast on. How could we not pick that image apart to our fullest capacity?

Front and center is a cloud, which doesn’t look like a happy cloud. In my mind, that could only mean two different things: alien invasion or apocalypse. Attached to the cloud is a kite tail. That could indicate there are children involved. Creepy children? I’m terrified imagining it, but I’m not ruling it out.

On the ground below the cloud, there is definitely something going on. It’s hard to see, but if you squint, it looks like a fair or carnival. And now, my mind is just racing thinking about a haunted carnival with scary clowns. Or maybe it’s just an innocent little town invaded by some spooky force. Of course, that’s unsettling, too.

I’m not the only person with thoughts on the poster. One Twitter user pointed out a sinister face in a cloud:

Another Twitter user, who is also an astronomer, says that clouds can be pretty terrifying on their own:

Two things we do know from previous Jordan Peele movies is that Nope will probably have a social commentary angle and a killer twist. Beyond that, it’s mostly just speculation. But I’ll be darned if I don’t analyze the heck out of every clue that Peele drops between now and July 22, 2022.

The Nope Trailer

The trailer for Jordan Peele’s Nope debuted online on Super Bowl Sunday, February 13, 2022. We’re still almost as much in the dark as we were when the movie was first announced, but at least we get a nice little reference to the dawn of cinema.  Watch the Nope trailer here:

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Aurora Amidon spends her days running the Great Expectations column and trying to convince people that Hostel II is one of the best movies of all time. Read her mostly embarrassing tweets here: @aurora_amidon.