By Quinn Ryan, Staff Writer
It always impresses me when new directors arrive on the scene and knock it out of the park on their first try. Among the list of famously good directorial debuts, people throw around the names Orson Welles for Citizen Kane, John Singleton for Boyz N The Hood, Quentin Tarantino for Reservoir Dogs, and Frank Darabont for The Shawshank Redemption. These directors were able to bring their unique and fresh perspectives and make movies that resonate with audiences to this day. There are many more directors who flourished on their first films, but one of my favorites is Jordan Peele, who released Get Out in 2017. Get Out was a sensation when it premiered, which led to trends such as running straight at someone and turning at the last second, but more importantly, it sparked a lot of interesting discussion on the topic of race in this country. Peele was able to make a tremendously entertaining and suspenseful movie that also highlighted major societal issues at the same time.
Peele was praised for his creation, earning him an Oscar nomination for best director and for best picture that year. He then followed up the success of Get Out with the movie Us in 2019. And although Us was a success at the box office, it seemed to fall out of public conversation much faster than Peele’s first film. Don’t get me wrong, Us was a good movie and contained some of Peele’s commentaries on the United States and governmental control, but it did not spark the same passion with audiences as Get Out did. To compare the two, I would say that Us is good while Get Out is a masterpiece.
Now, we are a mere six months away from Peele’s third work, Nope, being released, and I frankly could not be more excited. Like many of Peele’s fans, I started falling in love with his particular charm from Key and Peele, his sketch comedy show that he hosted with Keegan Michael Key from 2012-2015. Jordan Peele was thought of to be a comedian for years of his career, but he shocked the world with his insightful and scary directorial debut, and many people are now signed up for Peele ‘season tickets.’ Nope is definitely my most anticipated movie that is set to come out this year, and I believe that it will be wildly entertaining and thought provoking.
But now, let’s talk about what we know about the film so far. In short; barely anything. Peele released a poster on twitter six months ago with just the title of the film, the three leading actors, and a visual of a dark storm cloud with a tail of lights hovering over a town. Since then, nothing has come out about what fans can expect from the plot or any other details surrounding the film. But even with just the revealed cast so far, I can tell this is going to be a good one. First, Daniel Kaluuya is set to star in it, who famously played Chris in Get Out, and was nominated for the best actor Oscar for his performance. He went on to win an Oscar for his supporting role in Judas and the Black Messiah, and has proven himself to be a dominant actor of his generation. Peele really brought out some of his best work, so seeing them return to work together is especially exciting. Nope is also set to star Keke Palmer, who I grew up loving from movies like Akeelah and the Bee, Jump In, and her show True Jackson, VP. However, in more recent years she shedded her aura of child star and most recently starred in a movie called Alice, which was not well received critically but for which her performance was praised. And lastly, Steven Yeun is the last name that rounds out the poster. Yeun grew to fame in the show The Walking Dead for his ability to contrast serious moments with light moments of levity, and has been a well respected actor since then, earning him a best actor nomination in 2020 for his role in the movie Minari. These three actors each bring a lot of power into their performances, and I can’t wait to see them work together in July.
The last thing that I will say about Nope is that one of the things that is making me most excited for the film is the lack of information about it. It seems like we are living in the era of trailers, where we are led piece by piece to each new movie, with bigger blockbusters releasing three or four trailers before opening night. And while trailers can be a good way to sell a movie to audiences, there is something very enticing about Peele’s lack of spoiling anything about this movie. To me, that says that he has a lot in store for us and doesn’t want to ruin anything by giving away key details. I’m sure that a trailer or two will drop closer to the release of the film, but I hope this level of secrecy is kept so audiences can build up their anticipation for the release. As I said before, I consider myself to hold Jordan Peele ‘season tickets,’ meaning that I’ll be in theaters for anything that he makes for the foreseeable future, so let’s hope that Nope lives up to what I know Peele is capable of.