Few filmmakers in history have impacted a genre as quickly and substantially as Jordan Peele has influenced horror cinema. He made a game-changer with Get Out, his directorial debut, and in no way did he suffer a sophomore slump with 2019’s Us. Naturally, cinephiles the world over are now drooling with anticipation over Peele’s next feature, Nope, and we finally got to obsess over our first substantial look at what’s in store, and it first requires looking up to the sky, to then be followed by screaming in terror, and then repeat. I do love such patterns.
It was back in July of last year that we first learned about Nope, the announcement revealing the title, the cast, and the poster simultaneously, but only now have we been given a real look at the new film thanks to the trailer above, which is set to debut in part for 90+ million people during Super Bowl LVI. Which means 90+ million people will be at various stages of scratching their heads with curiosity during the two-minute preview, which seemingly confirms Jordan Peele’s next big horror masterpiece will be more of a straightforward creature feature, with aliens as the presumed majority creature who will be inspiring presumably the worst experience ever for characters played by Keke Palmer (whose casting for the film was revealed nearly a year ago), Daniel Kaluuya and Steven Yeun, among others.
And I say aliens, but I guess I mean whatever entity is expected to be traveling around in a massive airship that somehow has a giant kite tail hanging from it. That colorful detail totally adds paths of speculation that beg to be explored, but that’ll have to be saved for later. The threat coming from some child’s imagination or drawing is my earliest left-field bet.
It’s an interesting and socially on-brand idea for Jordan Peele to essentially have the oft-underused concept of Black cowboys going up against “alien” threats, subverting the traditional western set-up. Even if it’s not the overarching point of the film as a whole, the fact that it can be gleaned just from the trailer is saying something. Which is just one of many reasons why I’m even more excited to see how Nope will further upend other genre-based expectations. If the alien-centric Signs can remain one of M. Night Shyamalan’s lasting successes, this could be an even bigger cultural hallmark for Peele.
Plus, even though we do see some kind of UFO in the air, up where everyone is looking, Kaluuya’s character asks if there’s a word for a “bad miracle,” which at least opens the door for something more religious to enter into the picture. The shot of him on horseback trying to haul ass away from the ominous and massive shadow overhead is a prime situation where a higher power almost necessarily has to appear.
Similarly, that final shot of Keke Palmer’s character screaming as she’s being pulled into the sky by unseen forces — beyond also being the kind of thing that could be the result of either extraterrestrials or angels and demons — is also a fate in need of divine intervention. Not that I wouldn’t expect any and every character Palmer plays to survive that kind of rough-housing, since she’s a boss.
In any case, Jordan Peele and Universal Pictures surely wouldn’t have put the above moments in the trailer if the two main characters died immediately after, right? RIGHT?
Also starring Barbie Ferreira, Brandon Perea, and Michael Wincott, Nope will be floating above theaters everywhere on July 22, and we can only imagine what kind of merchandising will come out of those flappy-armed inflatable dudes. Discover what else is heading to cinemas and streaming services via our 2022 Movie Release Calendar, but if you’re exclusively interested in the scary stuff on the way, head on over to our Upcoming Horror Movies guide. And if Jordan Peele’s brand of creepiness is more up your alley, check out a rundown of the best Black horror films available to stream.