Jordan Peele Movies Have Mind-Boggling Literary Easter Eggs!

The infamous Director Jordan Peele uses a lot more literary imagery in his horror movies than you think! Can you imagine Dorthy Gale inside of ‘Nope’?

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nope, us, get out movie posters

Since Jordan Peele’s directorial debut with Get Out, he has been ‘the see-all and love all,’ inside the black community. Before Peele, it was a rare sight to see black horror directors. He created confidence in us to be a part of this genre and not be killed off within the first act.

With Get Out, Us, and Nope, Peele has given us spine-chilling terror, incredible plot twists, and messed up (sometimes hilarious) characters. So, I couldn’t help but bring up Peele’s talent and see if there was a bookish connection within his three movies. 

Jordan Peele

There is, of course, or you wouldn’t be reading! So, without further ado, here are the bookish connections you will see when binge-watching Peele’s movies. 

Nope: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Kicking off our list is Peele’s newest movie, Nope.

Kiki palmer as Emerald in Nope

To start, the basic premise of Nope is three men, and a woman facing off against the big bad that’s in the sky. Spoiler alert: It’s an extraterrestrial that swallows people from the sky. They want to get a picture of the alien to get famous. Now, how is this connected to The Wizard of Oz? Well, first of all, the main woman is named Emerald… Emerald City, anyone? Stick with me now! She works alongside three men… her brother, OJ, who works on a ranch— or some would say a farm, and what do they have on farms? Scarecrows. 

cowardly lion, scarecrow, Dorthy gale, tin man

They meet Angel at an electronic store– aka our Tin Man. Our cowardly Lion is Antlers Holst, a cinematographer. He is hesitant (some would say cowardly) to join the team at first, but with some persuasion, he helps them in the end. 

air balloon in wizard of oz leaving from emerald city

Our Alien in question is a model of the Wizard of Oz. “Don’t look at the man behind the curtain,” Oz notoriously says in the film adaptation. And what’s the one thing that they can’t do to the aliens? They are unable to directly look at it. 

Side Note… did anyone else think the alien look like an air balloon? 

Us: Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

white rabbits from Us

The first shot of Us is rows and rows of white rabbits. Rabbits?! How did Alice find Wonderland? Following a White Rabbit who was running late. That’s the only connection… Just kidding. 

Alice looking through a glass

The sequel, Alice Through the Looking Glass book, is about a world similar to Alice’s but fragmented. Through a funhouse, our main character, Adelaide, goes through the hall of mirrors, in which a version of her tethered twin and other replicas live in an alternate world. 

one girl is choking the other, the two girls exactly the same

Get Out: Rosemary’s Baby and The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin

Jordan Peele was partially inspired by the movie Rosemary’s Baby and The Stepford Wives (also written by Ira Levin). The movies are actually based on a book with the same titles. Rosemary’s Baby is about a woman’s autonomy being taken away. Peele instead uses the acts of racism rather than misogyny as a part of the plot. 

rosemary and Chris (from get out) looking shocked and scared

In the movie, Rosemary’s husband, Guy makes a deal with the Devil so he can become famous in Hollywood, so Rosemary ends up carrying the Devil’s child without her knowledge. The people living in the neighboring houses trick Rosemary into prepping for the spawn of Satan and ultimately take over her autonomy and choice. 

black woman crying

This model is replicated in Chris’ journey in Get Out. His girlfriend lures him to meet her parents, and the white people, a part of this community, take away autonomy from Black people to live longer. Choice is no longer admitted to black people. 

The same goes for The Stepford Wives novel, in which women again are brainwashed into following their husbands blindly. 

Hopefully, you enjoyed these bookish connections, and next time you pop in another Jordan Peele movie, make sure you can see the bookish connections! 

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