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In a summer full of blockbusters, Jordan Peele's NOPE remains one of the most anticipated movies of 2022 in part because of what it isn't telling us. We know that the movie has been described as a "horror epic" building on Peele's past successes with Get Out and Us, and we know that the film seems to deal with an apparent UFO hiding in a cloud. Other than that, though, much of the film's plot remains very much under wraps, keeping fans in suspense until the last possible moment.
Still, that doesn't mean there's nothing left to talk about with regard to Peele's latest. In a new featurette released over the weekend, Peele and his cast shed some light on what the writer/director calls the "core" of NOPE's story: The brother/sister relationship between OJ (Daniel Kaluuya) and Emerald Haywood (Keke Palmer). OJ and Em share blood, of course, but they also share their family's legacy as the owners of a horse ranch that's been part of the movie business since its inception. When it comes to taking care of that ranch, though, their paths diverged. Kaluuya describes OJ as "the one that stayed," the sibling who's worked hard to keep up the ranch and deal with the family's long legacy there, while Em chose a different, more scattered path.
"Emerald Haywood doesn't really have a lot going on, doesn't really know what's she's talking about," Palmer said. "But she's got charisma, and she really doesn't know where she's going. So, the relationship, as close as it really is, you might not really be able to tell until s*** really hits the fan."
As previous trailers for the film have revealed, Emerald's charisma, and her re-emergence in her brother's life, spurs the Haywood duo to work on recapturing some of their filmmaking legacy by attempting to capture video evidence of a UFO on their property. As part of that effort, they draft an electronics salesman (Brandon Perea) and a documentary filmmaker (Michael Wincott) to bring their new claim to fame to life. Then... well, things get weird, in ways we don't yet fully understand. Along the way, according to Peele, OJ and Emerald's evolving relationship will remain the heart of the movie.
"It's about their ability to go from not connecting to acknowledging they have always seen each other," Peele said.
During the BET Awards on Sunday night, the film also dropped another new teaser, which is more a remix of previous footage than it is a showcase of new stuff, but you still might be able to pick out a moment or two of intriguing new detail along the way.
NOPE is in theaters July 22.