It's no secret that Jordan Peele is a big fan of anime classics like 1988's Akira. While the Oscar-winning filmmaker famously declined Warner Bros.' offer to adapt the seminal work of animation for live-action, he couldn't help but pay tribute to it in his latest genre mashup: Nope (now available on digital and physical home media).
Peele's loving homage to Akira can be found in the movie's climax, in which Emerald Haywood (Keke Palmer) hightails it to Jupiter's Claim on a motorbike, hoping to both photograph and kill Jean Jacket in one fell swoop. In her haste, Emerald brings the bike to halt by sliding it across the sand like a badass, recreating the same action performed by the red-jacketed Shōtarō Kaneda in the anime.
The shot in Nope was composed by special effects supervisor Scott Fisher and stunt coordinator Mark Vaneslow. The pair "devised a rig that would take Keke sliding down the street, a track about 20-feet long, from where the camera was, on an arm of sorts controlled by [DP] Hoyte [van Hoytema]," Peele explained to Empire for the magazine's final issue of 2022 (now on sale).
He continued: "The special effects guys and our stunt team essentially pull Keke, and she folds over safely as the bike is pulled towards that well. Then we create billowing dust to cover up our tracks a bit, and clean up the rest with VFX. I think the moment is a bit of a punctuation [mark] for myself that I picked the right pathway ... and I still get to do an Akira slide if I need to."
Peele turned down the job of helming a live-action Akira in favor of working on his own IP. "I think [I could do it] if the story justifies it. Akira is one of my favorite movies, and I think obviously the story justifies as big a budget as you can possibly dream of," he explained in 2017 (via ScreenRant). "But the real question for me is: 'Do I want to do pre-existing material, or do I want to do original content? At the end of the day, I want to do original stuff."
Two years later, Taika Waititi accepted the gig from Warner Bros., but there have been precious few updates since then. It's not entirely surprising, given how busy Waititi has become since the success of Thor: Ragnarok turned him into a Hollywood super-star. “I’m still trying [to make it],” he told Wired in late 2021. "I don’t wanna give up on that."
Nope is now available to rent/purchase on Blu-Ray, Digital, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD. The Blu-Ray and 4K editions feature an exclusive, 56-minute featurette dedicated to the making of the film. If you're a Peacock subscriber, you can stream Nope beginning Friday, Nov. 18.
Looking for more summer blockbusters in the meantime? Beast, Jurassic World Dominion, Minions: The Rise of Gru, Vengeance, Brian and Charles, The Black Phone, The Bad Guys, Downton Abbey: A New Era, and The Northman are all streaming on Peacock.