Spoiler Warning: No (2022)
Jordan Peele’s summer blockbuster Nope made the buzz. Not just for the story or the special effects, but for the fan theories as to what it all means.
Nope is the story of an African-American family of Emerald (Keke Palmer), OJ (Daniel Kaluuya) and their father, Otis (Keith David), who train horses for movies in southern California. California. The Haywood family’s horse ranch in Aqua Dulce, California provides the film’s expansive setting and incredible views. If that’s what they’re called, being a reasonable distance away, their neighbors are a Western Town amusement park owned by a former child star (Steven Yeun).
The film opens with the family patriarch killed by a nickel fatally driven into his head. The disjointed brother and sister struggle to fend for themselves, and OJ is forced to sell some of the horses to their neighbor to survive. Emerald is usually in Hollywood working on other side projects to get her big break in the business. That’s when OJ sees something, something that shakes him.
Is NOPE an acronym for “Not from Planet Earth?”
The initial marketing of Nope gave away very little about the genre or type of film, prompting fans of Peele to make some fantastic guesses. vanity lounge released a video of the cast (Palmer, Kaluuya, Yeun, and Brandon Perea) reading fan theories. While some were out there, others had serious potential for new films written and directed by Peele.
In his interview with Emmy Winner Jake Hamilton on the Jake’s catches YouTube channel, Peele revealed:
“I think one of the great things about making movies now is you get to have a conversation with people, sometimes it sucks, but quite often you… I get the inspiration for what I I’m going to do next with the conversation I have with my fans.
With the success of We and get out, it’s no wonder Peele seems to be on a streak, and his fans are here for the long haul, too. In the Vanity Fair video, Steven Yeun reads: “NOPE = Not Of Planet Earth”. The actors joke around about it, saying they might see it as Peele-esque because it might put coded elements into the movie. However, in the end, Palmer answered the question if Peele had put that code, and she said, “Yeah, he didn’t!”
Real monsters are human
Kaluuya read another theory that Nope would be about “colonialism and human panic”. It reads as follows:
“Nearly every classic alien movie is turned us versus them. A tale of how fear or the unknown turns us into monsters, and we portray ourselves as the good guys. Peele is known for his social messages and metaphors, so I have a feeling the aliens are coming to help us, but the real monsters we discover are people. Maybe we kill them first, they get angry and react in a vengeful way…”
After reading this, all the cast reacted positively and thought it was a great idea. So much so that Kaluuya wanted to see the script! But, all the actors also had to shoot down this theory.
There’s a fan theory that fits so well; it’s a bit scary. A Reddit user posted their take on Nope and said they agreed 100%. But before we reveal this theory, let’s go over some of the reasons why you might agree with it.
OJ and Em had a conversation during which OJ asked if there was a word for a “bad miracle”. It has been suggested that the ancient prophets might have used this “evil miracle” to describe “the wrath of God” or “the judgment of God”. Is this what happened in Nope a bad miracle?
One of the film’s most notable characters, Angel (masterfully played by Brandon Perea), suggests to the History Channel ancient aliens and other paranormal elements are what they might watch.
Finally, Peele begins the film with a biblical quote:
Nahum 3:6: I will throw on you abominable dirt, I will make you vile and I will make you a spectacle.
This leads to the theory that the UFO/creature in Nope is actually an “accurate biblical angel”. Another Reddit user agrees and expands on this theory a bit further, stating:
“There’s the theory that humans fear creatures that look nothing like them. So that’s why so many people hate spiders.
Now I find it interesting how the characters aren’t really afraid of the Alien but are more interested in profiting from it, although its final form is so abstract and unlike us that it doesn’t even look like a be alive .
In contrast, there’s the murderous chimpanzee who is the real scary creature in the movie despite being our closest relative and looking a lot like us.”
So this theory that the empty horse flying creature might represent a biblical angel carries a lot of weight. Peele and the cast mentioned that the word “show” was used a lot on set – and with its use of social messaging, the creature can easily be cast as an avenging angel carrying out the wrath of a Supreme Being.
However, this is just a fan theory, but as Peele has suggested in his interviews, his conversations with fans will inspire his next creation!