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Why Jordan Peele Brought Get Out's Daniel Kaluuya Back For New Movie Nope

Daniel Kaluuya in Jordan Peele's Nope
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

It’s been nearly three years since the release of Jordan Peele’s Us, and moviegoers have since been anxiously awaiting his next feature. Thankfully, his latest terrifying vision, Nope, is finally set to release this summer and, after that crazy first trailer, the excitement is rising. The movie includes an impressive cast, which includes Keke Palmer and Steven Yeun, but it was especially surprising to learn that Peele brought Get Out lead Daniel Kaluuya back for this movie. Now, the actor-turned-director has shared some insight into why we wanted to reteam with Kaluuya. 

There’s no denying that Daniel Kaluuya is one of the most talented stars in Hollywood these days. In the past few years, he’s been a part of notable films like Black Panther, Queen & Slim and Judas and the Black Messiah, for which he won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. So on the surface, the British actor is a very bankable name, but Jordan Peele wants him for far more than his professional standing. While speaking with Empire, Peele explained that it’s Kaluuya’s grounding presence that makes him perfect:

I wrote NOPE with Daniel in mind for the role – a humble man destined for an epic and otherworldly confrontation. Daniel’s craft is on a different level, but it’s his warmth that grounds audiences even during points of absolute madness. You may be watching a nightmare, but when he’s on screen, at least you’ve got your brother with you, and that’s all you need.

In Get Out, the Oscar winner played the role of Chris Washington, an up-and-coming Black photographer who accompanies his girlfriend to her parents’ home. The visit gets off to a somewhat awkward, but relatively normal start, before the young man uncovers the family’s sinister secrets. Even though the film gets (appropriately) fantastical at times, Chris remains a relatable character throughout, which is indeed due to the efforts of the actor playing him. (And Jordan Peele’s Oscar-winning screenplay, of course.)

It’s probably fair to assume that the actor and director took a similar approach when crafting the Nope role. This latest movie sees Daniel Kaluuya play the stoic James Haywood, who co-owns a ranch in an isolated town. Haywood seems just as perplexed as everyone else when a giant cloud parks itself above their community. However, based on the few bits of footage we’ve seen, he’s also one of the more cerebral characters within the story. This is definitely made clear when he poses an ominous question: “What’s a bad miracle?”

Jordan Peele seems more than prepared to play with our emotions in his upcoming horror flick, and I can’t wait to see what the actors bring to the proceedings. We’ll see how things shake out for Daniel Kaluuya’s Jim as well and whether or not the role can earn the actor another Oscar nod like his first outing with Peele.

Nope, one of 2022’s biggest new movie releases, opens in theaters on July 22. While you wait for it to arrive, do yourself a favor and check out some other Jordan Peele movies and TV shows and revisit other great performances from Daniel Kaluuya.

Erik Swann
Erik Swann

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.