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Nope: Jordan Peele Built The UFO With Claustrophobia In Mind

In the pantheon of movie aliens, Jean Jacket from 2022's "Nope" is a chilling stand out. And much of this can be attributed to writer-director Jordan Peele's unique approach to subverting what audiences expect from extraterrestrial threats. 

One of the most horrifying concepts presented in the film is how Jean Jacket consumes its victims, depicting its interior as a body digesting food. In an interview with The New York Times, Peele described what made him choose to showcase Jean Jacket's insides in this manner, explaining, "There were many factors in the construction of what we call the Jean Jacket interior ... But I think the idea for me was getting across the most nightmarish environment possible." 

The "Get Out" and "Us" director realized that presenting Jean Jacket's interior as a digestive tract, as opposed to the more-typical ascension seen with other movie UFOs, would help get that nightmarish feeling across. "So I created something that was claustrophobic and yet felt like you're so massively out of any sense of control," the Oscar winner continued. "Part of the true fear of this thing is being not just a victim, but one of many victims who are all screaming together is, I feel, a particularly helpless feeling." Peele clearly put a lot of thought into making his self-proclaimed "bouncy-castle-from-hell" as scary as possible. But he did not do it alone. 

Peele brought on some major help to design Jean Jacket

After working on two mid-budget horror films, "Nope" finally gave Jordan Peele the chance to flex his creative talents on a blockbuster scale. But to present the film's larger-than-life threat, Peele and his team knew they'd have to root Jean Jacket in reality. 

Visual effects supervisor Guillaume Rocheron spoke with Motion Pictures Association about what it took for the effects team to bring Jean Jacket to life. In the interview, Rocheron explained that Peele's initial vision for the strange entity was, " ... a creature that looks like a classic UFO but evolves into something else." From here, the team worked with concept artist Leandre Lagrange to craft different ideas for how to execute the behemoth. 

The task was so grand that they even employed help from outside the film industry. "We consulted with John Dabiri, a professor at CalTech who studies jellyfish," Rocheron said. "It's one of the most efficient animals in the world as it uses very little energy to eat, move, to do whatever it needs to do because their whole body is designed to be functional. We started to think about that deeply for our creature." In creating the simple and believable organism, the "Nope" team managed to craft a monster that imbued Jordan Peele's fantastical vision with ever-higher levels of spectacle.