Jordan Peele Explains Why Nope Is A Different Kind Of 'Flying Saucer Film'

The jig is up! Recent marketing for Jordan Peele's "Nope" has confirmed the director's latest horror film is, as many people theorized after watching the first trailer, a movie involving aliens or, at the very last, Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs). This also means Peele is one step closer to fully modeling his directing career after that of M. Night Shyamalan. Don't believe me? Both of them broke out as directors with an original thriller ("Get Out" and "The Sixth Sense," respectively) that flipped the genre on its head. They would go on to follow those films with a more ambitious if polarizing movie ("Us" and "Unbreakable") before trying their hand at an alien flick ("Nope" and "Signs").

Setting aside what this could mean for the future (like whether Peele will eventually follow Shyamalan in adapting a beloved cartoon series into a movie), it's worth noting both Peele and Shyamalan are directors of color who bring a very different perspective to their genre films than their white peers. Even a movie like "Us," which isn't strictly about race so much as a fractured America, can't help but quietly comment on race and the way it informs the actions of its Black characters. According to Peele, that will remain the case with "Nope," a movie he told Today is "about a lot of things."

Foremost, however, Peele says "Nope" is his attempt to direct a spectacle:

"The first notion that I latched onto when I was writing this movie was the idea of making a spectacle. I wanted to make a flying saucer movie because I just felt like if we can feel like we're in the presence of something 'other,' if we feel like that's real, then that's an immersive experience worthy of going to the movies."

Mixing Black people with flying saucers

"Get Out" alum Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer ("Hustlers") star in "Nope" as a pair of ranch-owning siblings who become first-hand witnesses to a close encounter of the third kind. More than just an acronym for "Not Of Planet Earth," the film's title is a nod to how having two Black leads sets the movie apart from other alien thrillers, be they "Signs" or "War of the Worlds." As Jordan Peele explained, it wouldn't feel authentic if he pretended their race didn't affect the way Kaluuya and Palmer's characters react to their situation in the film:

"I think it's impossible to make any movie without it being about race, because race is all around us. You can't have Black people in a flying saucer film and just have it be the same experience. It's not. There's a different relationship."

Adding to this, Peele pointed out, "My race, I think, has informed my entire artistic journey, and part of it has been trying to reconcile the box, and the box is that this country puts people of color in and trying to break out of that box." Even with the simple act of putting Black heroes in a movie like "Nope," Peele is already setting the film apart from so many entries in the alien invasion genre before it. It's enough to give you hope that, just as he did with "Get Out" and "Us," the terrific-funnyman-turned-horror-aficionado will once again find a way to put a fresh spin on familiar tropes.

"Nope" arrives in theaters on July 22, 2022.