Rian Johnson gets the Elon Musk-Miles Bron Comparisons
In Glass onion: a mystery to enemies finally revealed its secrets on Netflix today, Ryan Johnson is doing the rounds to talk about his latest success. Following his initial success, the sequel to his Hercule Poirot mystery sent Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) on the private island of billionaire tech bro Miles Bron (Edward Norton) to solve a murder of the tycoon’s influential friends. Ever since he first saw him in theaters, fans have pointed out that Miles’ character bears an uncanny resemblance to the real-life tech giant. Elon Musk. As revealed in a recent interview with Wired, Johnson acknowledged the comparisons.
Musk has gained public notoriety recently for his purchase of Twitter, but he is still best known as the mind behind companies like Tesla and SpaceX. His turn as “Chief Twit” was particularly criticized for his poor political decision-making and pouring so much money into a platform that was already in the red. His reign was widely seen as tumultuous, ending with him recently announced he will leave when he finds someone “dumb enough” to run the site. Also, Miles wears the same trends. He has both the courage and reluctance to admit a foolish decision. He still has the gadgets and brains to back up his credentials. In a post-Musk Twitter shopping world, the comparison seems obvious.
Johnson was asked about Musk and Miles, and he admitted he fully understands where everyone is coming from. That said, because he wrote Glass onion in the midst of a pandemic and not in 2022, Musk wasn’t exactly his target when Miles wrote:
There’s a lot of general stuff about this kind of tech billionaire that goes straight out there. But it obviously has an almost unique relevance to the present moment. A friend of mine said, “Man, it looks like it was written this afternoon.” And it was just a terrible, terrible accident, you know?
Johnson touched on some archetypes with Glass onion
Of course, Miles is just one of many colorful characters in Johnson’s film. There’s Duke Cody (Dave Bautista), a Twitch streamer and men’s rights activist in Andrew Tatemodel turned fashion mogul Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson) and rising star politician Claire Debella (Catherine Hahn) among others surrounding Miles. Each may deserve their own comparison to one influential figure or another. Johnson was eager to take these types of eccentric personalities and pushed them all into a room next to his sled with White trolling from the South. When asked how he decides who to scrutinize among his characters, he points out that he simply holds a mirror to our current cultural zeitgeist:
In this one, once I had a tech billionaire at the top of the suspect pyramid, the kind of friends they would have and the tenor of it all together. Because the intention is to accurately reflect what it feels like to be at the center of the cultural sphere for the past six years. It’s a bit of a nightmare carnival, a Fellini-esque augmented reality now.
Moreover, he explained that the creation of these more realistic caricatures deviated somewhat from the original. Knives. Instead of creating characters that complicate classic thrills, he wants to capture the extremes of our world:
It is a higher tone. But all the time, I thought, “Oh my God, should I tamp it?” I just open Twitter or turn on the news and I realize that that’s an honest reflection of what it’s like to live today and pay attention to these people. It’s probably funny because they’re ridiculous, you know?
Glass onion: a mystery to enemies is available to stream now on Netflix. Check out our interview with Johnson below: