As we creep closer to the release of Jordan Peele‘s highly-anticipated film Nope, fans wait with bated breath to finally understand the cryptic trailers and mysterious aliens lurking above the clouds. Until then, Screen Rant has shared an exclusive look at the film’s brand design for the IMAX artwork and a featurette of Peele discussing the method to his IMAX madness. The director has mentioned before that Nope is all about spectacle, thematically and visually, and goes on to elaborate the necessity for filming with IMAX in the brand-new featurette.
While Nope will get a regular theatrical release, the scale of Peele‘s latest project is created specifically to be seen in IMAX. Being the first “horror epic” filmed with the iconic 15/65mm cameras for the larger and wider IMAX screens, certain shots are meant to be exclusively experienced that way. When Peele set out creating the story and vision of the film, the concept of being larger-than-life was a given. In the featurette, Peele admits that as far as filmmaking, Nope is “by far [his] most ambitious.”
When the behind-the-scenes footage is as breathtaking and harrowing as the trailers themselves, the final product is, without question, a work of cinematic art. In the featurette we see sleek IMAX cameras fixed to helicopters as they kick up the dust surrounding their Santa Clarita set, wedged between the cleanly produced clips from the film. Considered a horror epic, Nope teeters between genres, flirting with action-packed sci-fi rather than the abject terror of his previous films Get Out and Us. To capture the action, Peele enlisted the expertise of cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema who’s done a handful of projects with filmmaker Christopher Nolan. From the trailers alone we see what audiences are in for as far as camera angles in the wide, sweeping shots, swirling winds, speeding motorcycles and horses, and, you know, the enormous spacecraft.
From the beginning, Peele set out to return cinema-starved audiences to theaters:
“When you’re shooting on IMAX you just know you’re doing something cinematically special. The image is so overwhelming it feels like you’re there. I wanted immersion, an awe, a fear and a wonder we all had when we were kids.”
With the script material, Peele “purposefully wrote something without any regard to how possible it was,” refusing to hold the story back in fear of what may have been too risky or difficult to pull off. In the featurette, Peele credits Hoytema‘s skills and the use of IMAX cameras for making his spectacle possible, saying Hoytema was “the mastermind behind some of my favorite films and favorite imagery.” Multiple shots are taken from aerial views, while some ride the heels of a horse or motorcycle. On working with Peele, Hoytema said:
“It was a very exhilarating ride. Always creative and fun, never scared and always pushing. In the scope of what we could do, this was made for a big screen. We shot on IMAX cameras, and we were not shy of doing very extreme or crazy things with those cameras.”
While created with IMAX visuals and the prospect of being a spectacle in mind, Peele‘s previous films delivered as far as scripts go, without doubt. The director brings unique ideas to a genre that sometimes leans heavily on its big hitters from the ’70s and ’80s, with new concepts and socially conscious narratives. With Nope, Peele revisits the classic UFO-sighting tales that plague the world’s fear of the unknown, from the earliest sightings to the mystery that surrounds Area 51, and will more than likely place his own spin on it.
Nope is written and directed by Peele and stars Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Steven Yeun, Brandon Perea, Barbie Ferreira and more.
Nope lands in theaters July 22. You can watch the featurette below: