How Jordan Peele Embraced Nope Being Added To Universal Studios Hollywood

Keke Palmer in the trailer for Nope.
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Friday is both a big day at the movies and a big day at Universal Studios Hollywood, and for the same reason. Jordan Peele’s new movie Nope hits theaters and on the same day, a new addition to the World Famous Studio Tour will debut with the Jupiter’s Claim set from the movie. It’s the first time we’ve seen a movie and theme park attraction debut on the same day, but Jordan Peele was more than happy to work alongside the theme park team as he made his movie.

Normally, when a movie gets translated into a theme park attraction, as when theme park attractions become movies, it happens after the movie has been released and become a success, but with Nope Universal took a different approach by making the movie and the theme park addition at the same time, which gave the theme park side unprecedented access to the movie. I had a chance to speak with Universal Creative VP Jon Corfino about the addition to the Studio Tour, and he told me Jordan Peele loved the idea of seeing Nope added to Universal Studios Hollywood and was more than willing to let them see behind the curtain. Corfino explained…

He was very welcoming. When I first met him on the set he was very much, like ‘Oh my goodness, this is great’ and ‘tell us what we can do to help.’ And so it was really one of those things where he welcomed us with open arms. And that took a big leap, because that meant that we did get to see the earlier cuts and we did get to see the film as it was being made to understand how we could be true to his vision.

While Corfino wouldn’t spill the beans regarding what might have been different regarding other cuts of Nope, every movie goes through some sort of process of change over time, that most of us never get a chance to see. In most cases those cuts never see the light of day, but Jordan Peele was apparently more than willing to give Universal Creative that access in order to help them create the best version of Jupiter’s Claim that they could.

Creating a movie or television show that becomes popular and has its own fan base is certainly something special, but it seems there's a somewhat unique feeling when that same property becomes a theme park experience. The creators of Phineas and Ferb got emotional when talking about seeing their creations inside Disneyland. Lin-Manuel Miranda seems dedicated to finding a theme park home for Encanto. Seeing your work on screen is one thing. Seeing your work become "real" is something else. 

Jordan Peele clearly had a similar feeling when Universal Creative approached him about this idea. Part of his movie will now be seen by every person who goes on the Universal Studios Hollywood tour for years to come. 

It’s quite an honor considering that the other two directors to have their sets recreated for the tour are Alfred Hitchcock and Steven Spielberg. That’s pretty impressive company, even if Peele is adamant he’s not the greatest horror director ever or anything. Nope opens in theaters, and on the World Famous Studio Tour, July 22. 

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.