Christopher Nolan Had An Important Piece Of Advice For Nope Director Jordan Peele

With "Nope" already set to earn back its production budget within its first week, Jordan Peele is a director who can get modern audiences interested in original films. "Nope" is not part of a franchise and it's not based off a book, but it's still the movie getting the most buzz at the moment, simply because Peele has already proven himself to mainstream audiences. 

Another such filmmaker is Christopher Nolan, someone who has delivered impressive box office performances with original movies like "Interstellar" and "Inception." His independent movies are still larger in scale than Peele's — "Tenet" alone cost $205 million to make, compared to "Nope's" $68 million — but if Peele's current trajectory is any indication, he could very well be working with those sorts of budgets for whatever project he's planning next. 

Either way, "Nope" has a clear similarity with Nolan's works in that it's a film that uses IMAX for many of its key scenes. In a recent interview, Peele explained that the movie's opening scene (the one with Gordy) was shot in IMAX. When the movie cut back to the scene later in the film, it switched to IMAX again. Another key scene was the one that "takes place in nighttime with rain," Peele cryptically said. If you've seen the movie already, you know exactly what he's talking about. And then, most impressively, the entire final act of the film is shot in IMAX. 

When it came to deciding which scenes to pick, it's not a surprise Peele took advice from Nolan, a man who's used IMAX for six of his last seven movies. 

Advice from a pioneer

Appearing on the "ReelBlend" podcast, Jordan Peele said Christopher Nolan's main piece of advice with selecting scenes for IMAX was: "You have to make sure everybody understands that it's different." As in, when the movie switches over to IMAX, the audience should understand on some level that what they're about to see is going to be unique and vital, some sort of game-changer. 

This is why Peele shot the flashback scenes in the set of "Gordy's Home" in IMAX: They both feel different from the present-day scenes, and their connection to the modern-day story isn't immediately obvious. The aspect ratio change helps signal to audiences, whether they realize it or not, the message of "trust me, this is important." And then of course, there's the extra element of danger. Even though it's a flashback, it's still one of the most terrifying scenes in the movie, in part because of how vivid it all looks. Everything about the way the scene is filmed indicates that something deeply important (and deeply terrible) is going to happen.

The other thing Peele kept in mind when switching to and from IMAX was the audience's immersion. "I tried to hide it often, so you're not thinking about it," he continued. As cool as it is to work with as a director — Nolan described it as "absolutely addicting" — ultimately neither Nolan nor Peele want the audience to be thinking too much about the movie's technical aspects while they're watching it. For all of the spectacle in "Nope," it's still a movie where the characters and themes come first, and that's why it works so well. So far, Peele's three for three, and we can't wait to see what he pulls off next.