Speaking to Vanity Fair in a recent interview, Knives Out and The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson shared one major industry secret: “bad guys cannot have iPhones on camera”. Here is the full quote from the interview:
“Apple… they let you use iPhones in movies but — and this is very pivotal if you’re ever watching a mystery movie — bad guys cannot have iPhones on camera.”
Apple is known for producing quality products at a premium price, but even more so- they are known for caring about their image above anything else. Apple has been one to do anything and everything within their power, and they have a lot of it, to maintain a strong public opinion among their fans. They would never jeopardize this image under any circumstance, so this is equally a surprise as much as it isn’t, but it is certainly believable.
Unfortunately for movie fans, this could actually be a major blow to movies you have not seen yet, though industry pros will likely mix things up in the future to avoid spoiling anything by having certain character suspects using an iPhone in their mystery movies.
“Every single filmmaker that has a bad guy in their movie that’s supposed to be a secret wants to murder me right now.”
Movies aren’t the only form of entertainment to make a statement by what sort of phone is being used by a protagonist. You may recall that in the best-selling game, Grand Theft Auto V, the three main playable characters all use different phones, albeit parody versions of their respective mobile juggernauts. Michael Townley, a wealthy family man in Beverly Hills, uses an iPhone, while Franklin Clinton, a poor gang member on the streets, uses an Android. Then there is Trevor Philips, the craziest and most unhinged of the bunch, who uses a Windows Phone, clearly something that only psychopaths would use. Of course, we don’t think that, but there is a certain message of intent that Rockstar was trying to suggest there.
We have yet to go back and watch any films to verify the legitimacy of Johnson’s claims, and perhaps there is some truth to it in a select few movies, but if what he says is an industry-standard, then he is right- filmmakers everywhere are shaking their fists at him right now, and not just because of what he did to TLJ.