Nope's Jordan Peele and Keke Palmer on Which Horror Movies Scare Them the Most

Jordan Peele on the set of Nope
Jordan Peele on the set of Nope
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Nope—the latest wholly original, thought-provoking spine-tingler from Oscar-winning writer-director Jordan Peele—comes to Blu-ray next week, meaning the film, which was shot on IMAX cameras, will now squeeze onto TVs for home viewing. Though it’s not the ideal way to view his sci-fi chiller, Peele has made peace with that fact.

“When I’m making a movie, I am thinking about the fact that it is a theatrical thing,” Peele told io9 over video chat. “I’m trying to make an experience that the audience can be loud in and they’re going to relate to each other. But it’s also in the back of my mind that, you know, a lot of the way people are going to watch it is [on DVD or Blu-ray]. So I don’t think it takes away from the cinematic experience at all. And in fact, there’s some great special features, including a documentary and some great bonus scenes.”

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Emerald wearing an enviable Jesus Lizard t-shirt.
Emerald wearing an enviable Jesus Lizard t-shirt.

Nope star Keke Palmer, who plays the quick-thinking Emerald Haywood, agreed. “I think Nope is one of those movies that is a twofold [experience],” she said. “There is the version where it’s like, yes, see it in IMAX and get that experience. But to me it’s also one of those movies that you’re going to watch over and over and over again, that you will probably watch once a year for more reasons than one, whether it’s the action or the feeling you had when you first saw it in the theater, or just the fact that at the heart of it, it’s a brother and sister story. So I think the cinematic relevance from IMAX, it does travel home in a different way.”

Nope’s alien invasion tale takes a different tone from others in the genre. It’s definitely not a heartwarming Spielberg sort of story, but it’s also far more than just the tale of a villainous ET targeting the human race.

“Very early on, I reached out to Keke before I was finished with the script in any kind of regard, I believe, or maybe I had a very early draft, and she very much latched on to what I thought was amazing about this. [Nope] was a bit of a throwback of an idea of what a film could be,” Peele said. “So it was ambitious, it was epic, and had this idea of being a blockbuster in mind, but was also trying to tell a story that is about heart in its centerpiece. And so we talked about that, and we talked about how exciting it was to be able to be Black people talking about something that ambitious.”

Palmer felt the same. “Obviously, what Spielberg brings is iconic, but what makes it ‘Jordan Peele’ is the fact that it’s not what you think it is. That was also the twist that I loved when I read it, because I had an idea of where the story was going—not only of where I thought my character was going, but also where I thought the spectacle was going. And I think that kind of flips the whole concept on its head just in general—[when] in our society we see something and we tell the story, and it couldn’t be further from the truth.”

We couldn’t let Peele and Palmer escape without asking them their favorite scary movies to watch during the Halloween season. For Palmer, it’s A Nightmare on Elm Street (“Freddy’s my guy!”); her first guess for Peele was The Nightmare Before Christmas— “I love Henry Selick,” Peele agreed, nodding to his upcoming role in Wendell & Wild—but then she declared “it’s going to be something really obscure,” which it was. Shout out to Japanese independent horror, circa the early 2000s! “There’s a movie called The Suicide Club,” Peele said, “that I would watch right now. It’s really scary.”

Nope arrives on 4K UHD, Blu-ray, and DVD on October 25.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

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