On Location: In ‘Nope,’ Jordan Peele Brings Otherworldly Horror to a Stretch of Californian Desert

For substantially of Jordan Peele’s new thriller Nope, a single issue is crystal clear: There is a little something mistaken in Agua Dulce. In this ranch-speckled stretch of desert, OJ and Emerald Haywood (Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer, respectively) are the proprietors of a Hollywood horse-handling business—but a string of mysterious functions swiftly upend the day by day rhythm of their life.

Regardless of whether you have presently witnessed the movie or not, the remarkable desert shots beg a handful of inquiries: What specifically is going on in Agua Dulce? And where is this spot?

You may have to observe the film for the solution to the to start with, but the latter will guide you to straight inland California. Located just north of Los Angeles, serious-life Agua Dulce and the neighboring city of Santa Clarita ended up picked out by Peele and production designer Ruth De Jong (the two also collaborated on Us) for its real residents—animal wranglers like the Haywoods—as properly as a Hollywood background significantly lusher than the barren landscape may possibly let on. We sat down with De Jong to listen to additional about developing the world of Nope, from the ranch exactly where much of the film can take spot, to the abutting roadside theme park operate by Ricky “Jupe” Park (Steven Yeun).

Steven Yeun’s character, Ricky “Jupe” Park, operates a Western topic park in Agua Dulce, California. 

©Universal/Courtesy Everett Selection

Was Nope filmed entirely in Agua Dulce?

We were being in Santa Clarita and Agua Dulce, variety of on the border. We uncovered a pair of ranches that were being linked, and we crafted both of those of the sets from the floor up. The principal house looks straight into the valley, and when characters cross between the properties—whether they’re in a automobile or on a bike or horseback—they’re essentially accomplishing so. It’s not a cheat where we were being chopping, it was all practical, realistic, and authentic: 360-degree usability. The only CGI is in the sky.

It was so remarkable to be ready to produce every thing we preferred particularly how we wished, and then marry them and have their proximity be so close. It produced the entire layout approach very fluid with Jordan [Peele]. I adore earth-setting up, when you can create on site as opposed to a soundstage, and be outside. It’s a good deal of exciting.

Inform me about the theme park run by Steven Yeun’s character. In which did the concept for that arrive from?