Warning: This article will go over a massive spoiler in Nope. It’s highly advised that you wait until after you watch the movie to read this.
One of the most horrifying and tragic parts of Jordan Peele’s latest movie Nope is the story of Gordy and Ricky ‘Jupe’ Park (Steven Yeun, Jacob Kim). Jup was a child actor who appeared in the Kid Sheriff franchise and on the sitcom Gordy’s Home!, both of which are fictional. The latter was about a chimpanzee named Gordy (Terry Notary), played by an actual chimp in-universe, living with a human family after a brief career as an astronaut.
One day, they were filming a birthday episode where Mary Jo Elliot (Sophia Coto), who played the family’s daughter in the show, was supposed to give Gordy a present that would open up and release these balloons. Though one of the balloons popped, and Gordy became very agitated. Though much of what happens isn’t shown, Gordy goes berserk, attacking his co-stars, disfiguring Mary Jo, and permanently traumatizing Jupe.
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However, after finally calming down, Gordy looks around as if confused and not sure of what he had just done. It’s at that moment that he spots Jupe hiding under a table. Going over, Gordy stares at him for a tense beat, then sticks his hand out for an exploding fist bump, which they used to do on the show. After hesitation, Jupe reaches out his hand to do so, only for Gordy to be shot dead right in front of him, the blood splashing on Jupe’s face.
In the wake of the film’s release, an old tweet by Peele has resurfaced. During the tweet, he said that he dreamed that a baby chimp attacked some people but then ran up to him afterward and hugged him, all scared. It was a dream that caused him to wake up with tears streaming down his eyes. You can see the tweet for yourself here:
Art Imitating Life?
Peele wrote that eight years before Nope was released in theaters. As you can see, Peele’s dream has quite a few similarities to the scene depicted in Nope. Granted, Gordy wasn’t a baby and went in for a fist bump instead of a hug, but the sentiment remained the same. Not only for the attack but for the seeming remorse that Gordy felt in the aftermath of the attack.
The scene was also similar to an infamous real-life incident with a chimp named Travis. Back in the ’90s, Travis was raised among humans by Jerome and Sandra Herold and became something of a local celebrity. However, as he got older, his behavior became increasingly erratic until one day, he attacked one of Sandra’s friends, Charla Nash, disfiguring her before finally being shot dead by police.
Like Peele’s dream, the similarities are uncanny. According to Fangoria’s Instagram page, Vol. 2, #16 features Peele “breaking his silence on the shocking untold true story behind Gordy.” Said issue is that available online, so if you wish to find out if Gordy came from Peele’s dream, Travis, a combination of the two, or something completely different, you’ll have to buy a physical copy.