Is Edward Norton’s smarmy tech billionaire in the ‘Knives Out’ sequel based on Elon Musk?

Is Edward Norton’s smarmy tech billionaire in the ‘Knives Out’ sequel based on Elon Musk?
Edward Norton/Elon Musk (fake images)

Edward Norton/Elon Musk (fake images)

Virtually all reviews of glass onion, rian johnsonThe star-studded sequel to the 2019 whodunit hit knives out points out the similarities between one of the main characters and a certain Tesla innovator turned controversial new CEO of Twitter.

For his follow-up, Johnson shifts the stock from an old-money New England mansion to a private Greek island owned by a tech billionaire named Miles Bron (edward norton), who invited a handful of his eccentric wealthy friends for a week of carousing, including a mystery game he had designed in which the guests will discover his staged murder. Of course, when the famous detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), the only character to return from knives out — appears, it turns out that there is a real murder that needs a solution.

Since the premiere of the film in the Toronto International Film FestivalNorton’s hateful Bron has been called “a thinly veiled Elon Musk” (Bloomberg), “a super-rich stand-in for Elon Musk” (daily herald), “In the style of Elon Musk” (boston herald)… you understand the drift.

Edward Norton in 'Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery' (Netflix)

Edward Norton in ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’ (Photo: Netflix)

But in interviews with Yahoo Entertainment, neither Johnson nor Norton were willing to admit out loud that Musk, now making headlines daily for seemingly ill-conceived edicts following his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, was a direct influence. Still, as in a murder mystery itself, there are lines to read between them, and it’s clear they had some Muskiness in mind.

“When I was writing, I found that whenever I started thinking too specifically about a person, it became very uninteresting, very quickly.” Johnson (Looper, Star Wars: The Last Jedi) He says. “Just annoying a specific person. Not so interesting.

“What was most interesting was going back and thinking about this general group of people and our relationship with them as a society. We want them to be Willy Wonka. But we want to hurl insults at them, but we also all have this deeply sick thing inside of us like, ‘Maybe they’re actually going to save us.’ Or ‘Don’t bet against them because what if they’re right?’ So he’s exploring that uniquely American thing of mistaking great wealth for great wisdom. …That more than going after a specific person I don’t know in real life.”

norton (Fight Club, Motherless Brooklyn), also says that the character is more of a fusion.

“I think Miles is representative of a species. And there are dozens of them. There are a handful that have made documentaries about his foibles and his excesses and his lies and his self-aggrandizement and his theoretical talents. Men and women, both, by the way. We are in an era of the rise and fall of [them]. There are really very few people who contributed enough detail to Miles’ makeup.

“And we did this in the spring of last year, so some of the powerful hadn’t fallen yet. Some of the emperors had not yet shown that they have no clothes in 2021, who may now be the focus.”

Janelle Monae in 'Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery' (Netflix)

Janelle Monae in ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’ (Photo: Netflix)

However, it’s not just Norton’s character, Miles Bron, who represents seedy aspects of capitalism and American entrepreneurship in glass onion. There is also Andi Brand (Janelle Monae), the former business partner that Bron screwed over on his way to world conquest.

“It happens in all industries,” says Monae (Moonlight, hidden figures). “So many women, black women in particular, who don’t get credit for their ideas, who are passed over, who raise their hands to say something [and] they are not heard. But [someone from] most raise their hand and say the same thing and be like, ‘Ah! Wow, what a brilliant idea. I’ve talked to a lot of women about those moments and I think in a way I was honoring them.

“But I think with Rian, as much as this movie says something, it’s also entertaining. These are rich people. My character is absolutely a person who has a lot of influence, but is trying to do the right thing with his influence. …But you want to support her because of the complicated relationship she has with Miles…she has so many layers.”

Crystal Onion: A Knives Out Mystery opens in theaters on November 23 for just one week before debuting on Netflix on December 23.

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