A 2022 movie debuted on streaming platform Netflix Inc NFLX that may have used Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk as inspiration for a character. Here’s what investors, fans of Musk and movie lovers should know.
What Happened: The Netflix movie “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” featured a character that might resemble Musk and be related to his acquisition of social media platform Twitter.
The character Miles Bron is a technology billionaire who has interests in space exploration and automotives, two sectors Musk had disrupted in real life. Played by Edward Norton in the movie, Bron was portrayed as someone who stole ideas and took credit for items he wasn’t behind.
Movie director Rian Johnson recently shared with Wired that Musk might have been an inspiration for the character.
Johnson told Wired he wrote the screenplay during COVID-19 lockdowns, prior to Musk announcing plans to purchase Twitter. The movie director joked he didn’t know about this ahead of time, but viewers could see parallels between the behavior of the tech billionaires both fictional and in real life.
“It’s so weird. It’s very bizarre. I hope there isn’t some secret marketing department at Netflix that’s funding this Twitter takeover,” Johnson said.
The character of Miles Bron took its characterization from Musk and also other tech billionaires, according to Johnson.
“There’s a lot of general stuff about that sort of species of tech billionaire that went directly into it. But obviously, it has almost a weird relevance in exactly the current moment.”
The interviewer joked the next Knives Out movie could be about the downfall of Twitter.
“Downfall of Twitter. Didn’t I just do that,” Johnson jokingly replied.
Why It’s Important: Musk is the CEO of Tesla, but his role as co-founder of the company has been controversial. Discussion in the movie of ideas and companies that the entrepreneur took credit for could have parallels with how some viewed Musk in real life.
“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” played in U.S. movie theaters AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc AMC, Cinemark Holdings, Inc. CNK and Regal for one week to become the first streaming movie to debut at all three theater chains.
The movie was added to Netflix on Dec. 23 and now available for all subscribers of the streaming platform.
News of a movie character being based loosely on tech billionaires such as Musk followed the Netflix hit “Don’t Look Up,” which also drew inspiration from some big names.
The character Peter Isherwell is played by actor Mark Rylance, who noted he studied Musk, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos for his physical appearance and portrayal.
“I looked at all those fellas. Maybe I should have gone down that more Californian, high-tech thing. But I went for something slightly different. I did read Elon Musk’s book — about half of it,” Rylance said.
Musk was a major spark for the character and Rylance said people such as the Tesla CEO have “high-minded ideas” and could look dangerous.
“I certainly thought a lot about that mindset of men and technology being the greatest thing in the universe, that nothing else is a higher force, and anything that nature throws at us, we’ll deal with it. You get this impression with Elon Musk. They think they’re going to save humanity. I think they’re dangerous.”
While Musk had been an inspiration for several fictional movie characters, he could find himself the subject of a future movie himself. Legendary biographer Walter Isaacson is working on a book about Musk. Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs became the source for a 2015 movie about the legendary Apple Inc AAPL co-founder with Michael Fassbender portraying Jobs on screen.
A book from Ashley Vance called “Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future” has been used as source material for several docuseries.
Photo: John Wilson/Netflix Inc © 2022 via IMDb