Nope: 10 Fan Theories About Jordan Peele's New Movie, According To Reddit – Screen Rant

The quick-witted trailer for Jordan Peele’s latest horror movie, Nope, has sparked several Reddit theories about possible plotlines for the film.
Jordan Peele’s worldwide hit Get Out (2017) put him on the map as a horror writer and director, but his success didn’t stop there, as he followed it up with Us in 2019. Peele’s announcement of Nope, his newest horror undertaking, and the reappearance of lead actor Daniel Kaluuya sparked rapid interest from fans.
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Known for the social commentary woven throughout his previous films, Peele’s Nope is sure to contain layered symbolism along with classic scares. Theories swirled on Reddit following the announcement, many of which were seemingly confirmed by imagery shown in the recent movie trailer.
With his background as a comedic actor, Jordan Peele injects humor into all of his horror films that pokes fun at the overused tropes of traditional horror. The title “Nope” initially seemed to refer to the characters’ reactions to whatever terrors they face in the film, but Redditor Lenny2theMany proposed an alternate idea that appears more likely.
The user points out that the title may not simply be the word “nope,” but an acronym for “Not Of Planet Earth” — a phrase commonly used to discuss UFOs and extraterrestrial beings. The alien imagery in the trailer backs this theory up, as the townspeople are shown looking up to the sky at a flying object disguised as a cloud.
A horror fan himself, Jordan Peele uses elements from classic films while adding his own spin to create a uniquely scary experience. Reddit user jesse4712 writes, “I think it’s gonna be his own take on the Close Encounters of the Third Kind but with more horror elements,” a sentiment echoed by others in the comments.
The Spielberg sci-fi film from 1977 follows characters Roy Nealy and Jillian Guiler and their gradual obsession with UFOs after an otherworldly sighting leads them to believe they are not alone in the cosmos.
One of the most notable aspects of Nope‘s promo poster depicts a horse being seemingly abducted upwards into the night sky. User tianajade01 suggests, “maybe it’ll be the classic alien invasion movie and the horses are a metaphor for what the aliens wanna do to humans.” The small alien doll floating alongside the horse also supports this theory.
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Animal metaphors are a staple of Peele’s movies and often act as a warning for the human characters about what conflict they will face later in the film. In Get Out, Chris sees himself in the deer on the side of the road, as well as the mounted deer in the basement, both hunted down by the Armitage family. The real spider shown crawling past the plastic toy spider in Us symbolizes the arrival of the dopplegängers.
After the success of his directorial debut, Peele continued to produce horror films and even revive the iconic show, The Twilight Zone. User Impossible-Shock-913 believes Nope will draw inspiration from the original 1960 episode, “The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street,” in which suspicion of alien invaders causes neighbors to turn on one another. They said, “Look up “the monsters are due on Maple street” season 1 episode 22 of The Twilight Zone.”
After one neighbor is shot and several more are accused of being the alien, the actual aliens stand back and watch as the humans create their own panic and chaos. The tendency of human beings to turn on one another during difficult times is a theme that Peele could easily rework into a modern horror story.
While many believe Nope will take influence from horror and sci-fi movies of the past, Redditor EZ_Breezy1997 believes it could be an interpretation of the real-life events that took place at Sherman Ranch, later known as Skinwalker Ranch. They said, “my working theory rn is that the entire premise is a riff off of “Skinwalker Ranch” a remote ranch occupied by a small family that gets “visited” at night by otherworldly creatures.” The 1996 reports of mysterious and seemingly paranormal activity from the Sherman family inspired several films and television programs.
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The Sherman family claimed to have seen countless unexplainable occurrences, including crop circles, orbs, and mutilated cattle left almost entirely drained of blood. Nope‘s ranch setting and Keke Palmer’s “skin in the game” quote in the trailer make this theory a strong possibility.
User racheldeese620 proposes one of the most unique theories for the film’s plot, suggesting that the ranch owners shown in the trailer are actually aliens sent from another planet and have been living on Earth for centuries. In this context, the first motion picture of a Black man riding a horse could have been the current ranch owner himself.
They said, “it would be easy for these 2 to come to earth maybe as refugees from their planet, disguise themselves as humans (shape shifter style), [and] own the ranch…” The Redditor goes on to say that the arrival of the UFOs and potential alien visitors could be extraterrestrials from their original planet returning to Earth to collect them and bring them back home.
Although many commenters believed the fist bump shown in the trailer was between a baby and a human-horse hybrid, Lazyperfectionist25 had an interesting perspective that may give insight into the film’s theme. The user pointed out that the hand could be a monkey paw, a reference to Peele’s company, Monkeypaw Productions, as well as the short story by W. W. Jacobs for which it was named. They said, “when I seen it I immediately thought it was a monkey hand & thought of Jordan peeles production company “monkey paw” hahaha who knows.”
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“The Monkey’s Paw” acts as a cautionary tale, warning readers to be careful when making wishes as they may come with unexpected consequences. The trailer appears to show a county fair in which audiences can pay to watch a horse be abducted, a money-making endeavor that could come back to haunt them.
User Empty_Huckleberry150 believes the aliens in Nope will act as an allegory for the ways refugees and immigrants are treated. The use of the alien phenomena as a tourist attraction could be used as social commentary on America’s handling of refugees and exploitation of immigrant workers.
Commenter Hooray4Yurei compares the idea to District 9 (2009), in which inhabitants of a dying alien planet are forced to take refuge on Earth, where they are relegated to living in run-down neighborhoods. They said, “Extraterrestrial aliens being a stand in on ‘illegal’ aliens looking for refuge, and the horror element comes from the fear driven response by the towns people to these new arrivals.” Created by director Neil Blomkamp, District 9 hoped to call out the xenophobic behavior toward the South African people who were forced to move following the 1966 apartheid.
While it is unclear what plot twists Jordan Peele has in store for Nope, Reddit user driller2x believes it will be something related to surveillance and the symbolism of cameras being an extension of the eye. The user explains that from the beginning of the trailer, as the Haywoods are filming their commercial, the focus is on camera lenses and the concept of documenting human behavior.
The camera-like imagery of the unidentified flying object and the water well filming from above, suggests that the humans are being watched by a powerful force from above. For what purpose they are being observed is another question entirely. The Redditor backed up their theory, saying “Peele wouldn’t rehash a cliche without putting a deeper layer of mystery over it.”
Being one of the most highly anticipated horror movies comes with an influx of fan theories that range from extremely likely to far-fetched. In contrast with the theory that Nope stands for “Not Of Planet Earth,” drewcifier32 suggests an alternative acronym: “that it may stand for Not Our Planet Earth and is a parallel dimension!”
While the inclusion of parallel universes in addition to alien invasions could be excessive for one movie, the concept of the cloud anomaly pulling things through a wormhole is an interesting theory to entertain.
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Kristen Ashworth is a freelance writer and makeup artist from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Kristen specializes in screenwriting for television and film and special effects makeup. Horror and drama genres have had a large impact on Kristen's style of writing. In her free time, Kristen works as a pet sitter and spends time with her own pets watching TV and movies at home.


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