On Thursday night, there was an event for Jordan Peele‘s highly anticipated Nope, which opens in theater July 22. Some people attending thought they were gonna surprise us with a screening of the film but, I knew that Peele, Universal, Monkeypaw and all the girls involved in this are just gonna give us the tiniest sliver of a taste of what’s to come with Nope. The night, which was part of CultureCon L.A., included a conversation with Nope star Daniel Kaluuya moderated by Get Out‘s Lil Rel Howery. The event also included an exclusive behind-the-scenes clip of the movie which also stars Keke Palmer, Steven Yeun, and Brandon Perea.
If y’all recall, Peele loves to play his cards close to his chest — and rightfully so. With spoilers flying around willy-nilly for every film and TV series coming out, Peele has managed to master the art of giving just the right amount of details when it comes to his movies. He gives us a peek, but unlike other trailers and clips, there are a lot of questions which pique audiences’ curiosity — and let’s be honest, after Get Out we will watch all of Jordan Peele’s films no matter what.
Seeing that Howery is a graduate of the Peele Cinematic School of Horror, he gets constantly asked if he knows what Nope is about — and he said he doesn’t know anything so don’t ask him. As for Kaluuya, he remained tight-lipped about thing, dropping little details here and there but not enough to confirm that this is a story about an alien invasion — a theory everyone seems to be gravitating towards. However, Kaluuya said there’s a reason why Peele’s films never get spoiled.
“It’s not hard [to spoil] because it’s hard to describe,” laughed Kaluyya in regards to spoiling Nope.
Kaluuya also talked about the more grounded side of the film which is about the relationship between his character OJ and his sister Emerald, played by Palmer. We rarely see brother-sister films and Nope explores this type of sibling relationship.
The clip shown during the event had Kaluuya and Palmer describing their characters and their relationship. During his conversation with Howery, the Oscar-winning actor shared that in the film, OJ has been taking care of the family horse ranch for a minute while Emerald returns after being away. Together, they try to run this horse ranch and then shit goes down.
I’m always here for a brother-sister film. As a person who only has one sister, it’s always fun and fascinating to see the dynamics of a brother-sister in a film or TV series.
Kaluuya and Howery waxed poetic on the look of the film and how Peele used IMAX tech to immerse us into this enigmatic, middle-of-nowhere horse ranch alien invasion. Kaluuya also explained how, like Peele’s other films, there are “nuggets” of story in Nope that you may catch on to with multiple viewings. “He’s a rich storyteller,” Kaluuya told Howery. “I like being in rich things.”
If you look at Kaluuya’s recent films, he has worked with primary Black directors: Ryan Coogler for Black Panther; Steve McQueen for Widows; Shaka King for Judas and the Black Messiah; and Melina Matsoukas for Queen and Slim. Howery talked about working “intentionally” with Black directors and creators and the two talked about how that uplifts and brings opportunity to other Black creators whether it is behind the camera or in front.
Kaluuya is walking the walk when it comes to collaborating with other Black creators. He is set to star and produce the adaptation of Femi Fadugba’s The Upper World and is also producing Kibwe Tavares’s The Kitchen. He also serves as producer of Adamma and Adanne Ebo’s Sundance pic Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul starring Regina Hall and Sterling K. Brown. Kaluuya said that there needs to be more Black producers so that they can “bring more people into the game.”
“When there are issues you understand them,” Kaluuya told Howery in regards to working with Black producers and directors. “You can shield and protect the artist and let them be proud of what they made. You don’t have to code switch. That makes me happy.”