Meta Hires ‘Nope’ Star Keke Palmer to Try to Explain the Metaverse

Keke Palmer - Meta - Metaverse
Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic

Keke Palmer’s next role after starring in Jordan Peele’s sci-fi/Western horror film “Nope”: Hosting Meta’s “Are We There Yet?” — a video series hyping the “boundless possibilities” of the tech giant’s VR platforms.

In the first episode of “Are We There Yet?”, released Tuesday, Palmer is behind the wheel of car alongside Vishal Shah, Meta’s VP of metaverse, in a tour of virtual byways.

“Could I reconstruct the Titanic, sail past an iceberg, and scream, ‘Not this time suckers!’?” Palmer asks rhetorically. Shah assures her, “You can do a version of that now.”

The Meta-sponsored series, Palmer explains, is a “road trip into the metaverse” in which she “chat[s] with the most interesting creators, educators and experts to find out where the metaverse stands now — and what’s coming in the future.”

Shah tells Palmer, “I think the simplest way of thinking about it is, the metaverse is the next phase of the internet. And the main difference between the internet we use today and the next phase is that we can feel like we are there with other people in a way we can’t feel in our digital experiences today.” He plugs Meta’s Horizon Worlds, which lets users create their own VR experiences, including comedy clubs, speakeasies, haunted houses and meditation spaces.

Ahead of the “Nope” premiere, Meta launched a VR experience for the movie that lets Quest 2 VR headset users explore the film’s Haywood Ranch and unlock various Easter eggs. The “Nope” VR world was built by top Horizon Worlds creators, under a deal with Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions and Universal Pictures.

Meta, since changing its corporate name from Facebook last year, has ostensibly tried to pivot toward an imagined lucrative metaverse of the future. But the massive investment hasn’t paid off yet. For the first quarter, Reality Labs — which encompasses Meta’s AR and VR businesses — again was a drag on earnings. Reality Labs revenue came in at $695 million, up 30%, with an operating loss of $2.96 billion, ballooning 62% year over year.

Watch the first episode of Meta’s “Are We There Yet?” with Palmer:

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