Yesterday, seemingly out of the blue, Jordan Peele announced the name and poster of his third movie. The film is called Nope and the poster is a picture of an ominous-looking storm cloud hovering above a mountain village. Do we know what it’s about? Nope. Do we have any sort of insight into the film whatsoever? Nope. Would it be a good idea for us to attempt to extrapolate the premise for the film using nothing but a one-word title and a picture of a cloud? Nope. Are we going to do it anyway? Sure, why not.
1 A film about ‘nope’
Spend any time online and you’ll hear about “nope” scenes in movies; moments that are jarring or off-putting or downright stupid enough to make the audience think “Nope”. A couple of years ago, someone on Quora asked: “What is the best ‘NOPE’ scene in a movie?” Another user mentioned the Brian Yuzna horror Society, most notably the scene where a man’s face grows out of a bottom. Meanwhile, a BuzzFeed article from last year on the same theme offered delights such as the ending of The Blair Witch Project, the foot-sucking scene from Gerald’s Game and the TV crawling scene from The Ring. This might be premature, but don’t be surprised if Nope turns out to be a relentless bombardment of grotesque scenes designed to overwhelm everyone who watches it.
2 A Get Out sequel
The three actors who appear on Nope’s poster are Steven Yeun, Keke Palmer and, reuniting with Jordan Peele for the first time since Get Out, Daniel Kaluuya. You will remember, of course, that Kaluuya’s character was one of the only figures to survive the events of Get Out. Could Nope be a continuation of his story? Could we learn what happened to him after the unthinking trauma of the Sunken Place? Does he retreat to a mountain village that is subsequently terrorised by a cloud? It’s a long shot, but don’t rule it out.
3 A film about a cloud
Just because Jordan Peele has found wealth and acclaim from directing horror movies doesn’t necessarily mean that Nope will follow suit. Sure, you might look at that cloud and get a terrible feeling of creeping dread in the pit of your stomach, but what if you’re wrong? What if Nope is actually a Pixar-style romp about a hapless sentient cloud that just wants to help people? The cloud sees a boy stuck on a raft in a river, and tries to rescue him but – whoops! – he accidentally causes a devastating flood. It sees a man about to run out of charge on his phone, and decides to use his electrical energy to power it up but – oh no! – he accidentally burns down an entire city block. Eventually, after some sort of madcap adventure, he learns to accept himself. Nope’s IMDb page also lists motion caption superstar Terry Notary as a cast member. You might think that he’ll be utilised to play some sort of CGI monstrosity in Nope. I, on the other hand, am convinced that he’ll essentially be playing the cloud version of Mr Bean.
4 A film about The Great British Bake Off
You will notice that the cloud in the Nope poster is trailing a string of bunting behind it. In truth, that’s what makes it so disquieting; there is nothing as innocently joyous as bunting, and to see it limply flapping from a dark cloud hints that we are witnessing the aftermath of some unspeakable devastation. My theory here is that the cloud descended from the sky and ate the bunting-bedecked Great British Bake Off tent. I don’t want to get too excited by something that hasn’t been confirmed, but I am certain that the scene in which Paul Hollywood frantically flings a procession of fairy cakes at an evil sharp-toothed cloud to stop it from biting him in half will win an Oscar.
5 A film about a two-year-old
Perhaps the scariest film of all is a film that just trains a camera on a two-year-old in the middle of a mealtime tantrum. Please can you eat your dinner? NOPE. Just three mouthfuls? NOPE. One mouthful, then. Can you eat one mouthful? NOPE. Please eat something. I love you and I don’t want you to starve. NOPE. Fine, I’ll eat your dinner. Is that what you want? NOPE. Then what? Tell me what you want. NOPE. Why? Why are you doing this to me? I used to be so young. I used to have so much energy. NOPE. This film will be 48 hours long.