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Look! Up in the sky! Wait...never mind. Disregard that. For the love of all that is good and holy, keep your peepers away from the sky! Looking up is a very danger proposition in the first trailer for writer-director Jordan Peele's next high concept horror project, Nope, which unveiled its first Twilight Zone-y footage early Sunday morning ahead of the Super Bowl.
First announced by Universal Pictures last summer, the movie — slated for release at the tail end of July — stars an ensemble cast led by Daniel Kaluuya (Black Panther), who previously worked with Peele on the director's 2017 directorial debut, Get Out. The supporting players are Keke Palmer (Hustlers), Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead), Barbie Ferreira (Euphoria), Brandon Perea (Doom Patrol), and Michael Wincott (The Crow).
Palmer and Kaluuya play the owners/operators of Haywood Ranch, the only Black-owned horse-training business in Hollywood. They're headquartered in a small California gulch town that suddenly makes an "uncanny and chilling discovery," reads the official synopsis provided by Universal. Judging by the trailer, it looks like Nope goes for a twist on the classic B-movie setup of an alien invasion in a small, out-of-the-way American hamlet. Of course, nothing should ever be taken at face value when it comes to Mr. Peele, who "reimagines the summer movie with a new pop nightmare," continues the release.
“All my work is pointed at this idea of humanity’s dark side,” Peele remarked in 2019 during a Twilight Zone-centric conversation with The Independent. "We have demons sewn into our DNA. Evolution has brought us to a place where we want to be good, for the most part. But we’ll never be all good. We’ll always have this other side."
Speaking with NPR that same year, he admitted that his penchant for making horror movies (Nope is his third time in the director's chair) stems from "my fears growing up, my fears as a kid watching movies."
He continued: "I'd watch these commercials for the Time-Life Mysteries of the Unknown books. ... And I would freak out. But I would want it. And I had this weird love-hate where I would ... if I got to sneak a horror movie at a friend's house, there was nothing more I would want to do. And then of course it would keep me up at night. ... And watching [horror movies] does that for me to an extent. But creating them, I think, helps me deal with fear and makes me feel stronger and braver."
The filmmaker produced Nope under his Monkeypaw banner alongside Ian Cooper (Us, Candyman).
Nope arrives in theaters everywhere Friday, July 22.
Universal Pictures & SYFY WIRE are both owned by NBCUniversal