Beware, many spoilers for Knives Out lay ahead.
Trying to figure out who the bad guy is in a movie? Check their phones. Not for some incriminating evidence. Just the brand itself
Movies, especially suspense and mystery thrillers, typically don’t expose the real villains up until the very end. It’s exhilarating that way when audiences don’t see it coming. It’s part of the enigma, which ultimately becomes its charm. But wouldn’t it be cool if there was a way you could tell who amongst the characters has the darkest soul from the get-go?
The director usually gives you some clues throughout to help you decipher who the main antagonist is, but they also do a good job of throwing you in a loop for more than two agonizing hours.
We usually think we know who done it, doubt ourselves, reaffirm our initial conclusion based on misconstrued facts, only to end the movie realizing you were on the wrong track the entire time. If that roller-coaster ride of investigatory movie watching isn’t for you, you’re just in luck because Knives Out writer-director Rian Johnson has a very interesting revelation.
Released in 2019, Knives Out unravels as private detective Benoit Blanc played by Daniel Craig, investigates the mysterious death of Christopher Plummer’s character, a wealthy crime novelist named Harlan Thrombey. His death took place shortly after Thrombey’s 85th birthday, which was attended by his extended family. With everyone in attendance considered as suspects, the search for the real culprit begins and ends on a tricky note.
In a video for Vanity Fair, Johnson broke down a scene from the movie where the family was gathered in Thrombey’s mansion for the will reading. When Linda Drysdale, played by Jamie Lee Curtis, holds up her iPhone, the director unveiled a juicy piece of information that was previously unknown to us: Apple allows film productions to use its products on screen but on one condition — bad guys not included.
He wasn’t sure if he should tell, but he told anyway. Now you know who to avoid when confiding your darkest secrets. While Apple’s product placement is not a big surprise, this is the first time someone from the “inside” has actually confirmed such a strategy. When rewatching the film, you can see several characters who are suspects carrying or using iPhones.
And yes (spoilers ahead), the iPhone-holding characters have nothing to do with Thrombey’s death. It was, Chris Evan’s character, Ransom Drysdale, all along; and if you watch closely, there isn’t a scene where he was seen holding or using Apple’s golden product. It is forbidden. It is against the rules. Apple’s rules. Nonetheless, it makes sense that Apple doesn’t want its products to be used by the morally corrupt even in the fictitious world of movie
It’s comparable to how soda companies don’t like audiences to see cans of their beloved brands being tossed into garbage bins on the big screen. It’s all about image and reputation after all. So, yes, Apple wants nothing to do with a killer who deliberately planned his grandfather’s murder and blame it on someone else just because grandpa decided to leave his entire wealth to his nurse. It’s not real but it’s bad for business nevertheless.
By the way, Johnson’s latest whodunit film also happens to be a good one with an ensemble cast that includes Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, and Ana de Armas, among others. It has earned more than $300 million in the box office against a budget of $40 million, cementing its blockbuster status. Knives Out also got Johnson his first Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay