He did it again: Director Jordan Peele, who you might remember as one half of comedy duo ‘Key & Peele’, just topped the North American box office charts for the third time with his third film ‘Nope’. That’s not only relevant because of Peele’s ingenious ability to melt the genres of western, horror, science fiction and satire altogether.
The story – two black siblings have to defend their family’s ranch against an extraterrestrial menace – also contributes to the still relatively new (and long overdue) success story of Black horror in Hollywood, putting African-American perspectives on nightmares on the big screen.
In times of sequel after sequel of mindless action blockbusters, it’s refreshing and important to see how ‘Nope’ delivers scares and gives audiences something to think: The movie’s story about OJ Haywood (Daniel Kaluuya) and Emeral Haywood (Keke Palmer), their family’s status as the only black-owned horse trainers in Hollywood, and the hunt for the threat in the sky makes for a thrilling thought-provoking piece about race, labor and the dangerous power of modern pop culture.
I’ll draw [the images that I have in my head] if it’s necessary to get something across, but I’ve worked with just tremendous artists, as well, and Guillaume Rocheron, who is just a brilliant, brilliant guy. And we saw eye-to-eye really early on as to the sort of aesthetic of this film. So along with him, the amazing artists, a guy named Léandre Lagrange was working at MPC. It really is taking whatever skill set you have and trying to apply it, and describe, and be as specific as possible.Jordan Peele on images in his movies that he doesn’t have a frame of reference for, via The Ringer’s The Big Picture podcast
If you’re mainly familiar with Jordan Peele through his recent work as a director, we highly recommend you taking a look at his work in sketch comedy as well. If not, you already know where we’re going with this. Either way, here are three BSTN staff favorites for you from his glorious Key & Peele days: