Nope's Opening Moments Were Very Different In The Script

Warning: This article contains major spoilers for Jordan Peele's "Nope."

Each of Jordan Peele's films feature an opening that foreshadows, thematically or otherwise, the horrors we're about to see. "Get Out" has Andre's suspenseful nighttime abduction in a predominantly white neighborhood, which gives an indication of what Chris has in store for him at the Armitage home. "Us" sees a young Adelaide finding something terrifying in a hall of mirrors, which sets the stage for the Tethered's bloody takeover of their aboveground selves, and, of course, that big twist in the film's closing moments. But "Nope" features the most striking "buckle up, here we go" intro Peele has given us so far.

With all of the theorizing and speculation "Nope" was getting prior to its release, the last thing I expected to see right at the top, was a set in disarray, and the bloodied chimpanzee who caused it. That chimp is named Gordy (played by Terry Notary), and he's had just about enough. He's the animal star of a late '90s family sitcom called "Gordy's Home" that was abruptly canceled after the popping of a helium balloon caused the primate to react violently on set, and maul three cast members, while the youngest cast member Ricky "Jupe" Park (Steven Yeun) watches in horror.

Even before we're given greater context as to what happened on the "Gordy's Home" set, that horrifying image is a simple, yet startling way to grab the audience's attention right off the bat. I can't imagine opening "Nope" any other way, but as it turns out, Gordy's spectacle initially didn't kick things off, according to the script.

Gordy's rampage sets the tone

In /Film's interview with "Nope" editor Nicholas Monsour, he explains how the aftermath of Gordy's rampage was a happy accident on Peele's part:

"One thing that was not scripted but was all Jordan's intuition was to put the flashes of Gordy at the beginning of the film. Again, that's such an important place in a movie, obviously, the first few images you see. I think it gives you, when viewing the movie, a real clear sense of the importance of that storyline to the meaning of the whole movie. Also, it sets the tone and creeps you out quite a bit."

The delirious nature of putting Gordy at the top of "Nope" without any context works so well to set up the bone-chilling frights that follow. It's like Peele saying, "you came here for a spectacle, and you're about to get one. Do you like what you see?" And the answer is a complicated one. When you pair that moment against the overarching themes of "Nope," which is ultimately about the exploitation, spectacle, and the complicity of the viewers, it takes on a whole other level of menace. I had no idea what to make of it initially, but one thing was for sure, Peele was about to take us on another dangerous ride.

Primate Birthday BASH Gone Wrong

Where the intros of "Get Out" and "Us" take their time ratcheting up the suspense, "Nope" just goes right for the jugular with a striking image that's hard to shake. What made this so startling is just how abrasive it is right out of the gate. It elicits a feeling of shock.

By the end of "Nope," the story of Gordy is cemented as an in-universe legend, where the horror of what happened has pretty much dissipated in favor of the media blitz cashing in on the tragedy. Jupe ultimately takes the wrong lesson from the incident, following in the sins of his TV family by exploiting an animal for profit. In the end, his new claim to fame, the Star Lasso Experience, leads to so many horrifying deaths, including his family, and gives birth to a new incident that will likely receive the same kind of notoriety that "Gordy's Home" did — SNL sketch and all.

Emerald (Keke Palmer) and O.J. (Daniel Kaluuya) are likely going to sell the "Oprah shot" in order to save the Heywood Hollywood Ranch, making the extraterrestrial threat one of the biggest news stories in the world. But their intentions aside, you have to wonder if history is going to repeat itself, just as it did with Jupe. Gordy works his way through "Nope" as a curse of sorts, in which few learn the repercussions of viewing an animal for spectacle. The Haywood alien picture is worth a thousand words, capturing the same amount of dangerous intrigue that the opening shot of Gordy conjures too.

"Nope" is now playing in theaters.