“Glass Onion” director addresses alleged Elon Musk “idiot billionaire” parallels

Dick Thomas Johnson from Tokyo, Japan, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons and Courtesy Photo, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Elon Musk is not exactly the most popular person nowadays. After years of being the whipping boy of critics over Tesla and SpaceX’s missteps and challenges, Musk has attracted an even larger wave of critics since he initiated his acquisition of social media platform Twitter. With Musk now dabbling into politics, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO has become one of the world’s most polarizing figures, bar none. 

There are a lot of criticisms typically thrown against Musk. Among them is the argument that he never really started any of his companies and that he tends to take credit for the work of others. Generally, the anti-Musk narrative argues that anything that Tesla or SpaceX does wrong is because of Musk, and anything good that the companies achieve was accomplished in spite of Musk. Amidst his acquisition of Twitter — which has been chaotic in every sense of the word — Musk has been dubbed by his critics as nothing short of a rich, bumbling idiot. 

This was why when “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” was released, numerous Musk critics immediately saw the apparent parallels between the Tesla CEO and the film’s fictional billionaire, Miles Bron. A look at Bron’s character, which was played by Edward Norton, would show that he does seem to be inspired — at least in part — by Musk. Just like Musk, for example, Bron is a tech billionaire that dabbles in numerous industries including space travel and automobiles, as noted by Forbes. Bron is also into sustainable energy, though he dabbles in “Klear,” a hydrogen-based fuel alternative. 

Do be advised that the following section includes spoilers for the film. 

As part of the movie’s twist, it was revealed that Bron —for all his alleged brilliance — is actually an idiot, and one who had stolen ideas and taken credit that was simply not his. As per Rian Johnson, the writer and director of “Glass Onion,” however, the parallels between Musk and his fictional “idiot billionaire” were not really done on purpose — not fully, at least. In an interview with Wired, Johnson noted that the movie was developed and shot in 2021, well before Musk’s Twitter acquisition. Johnson also noted that Bron was more of a compilation of numerous tech billionaires, not just one person. 

That being said, the writer/director acknowledged that Bron’s character definitely has parallels with Musk today, especially amidst the CEO’s Twitter takeover. “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. A friend of mine said, ‘Man, that feels like it was written this afternoon.’ And that’s just sort of a horrible, horrible accident, you know?” Johnson said. 

While Musk is pretty much asking for more rabid criticism online due to his political posts on Twitter, some of the criticism directed towards him, as well as the alleged parallels with the fictional Bron, are not exactly accurate. Regardless of Musk’s erratic behavior, after all, very few could argue that Tesla has become one of the strongest forces in the electric vehicle sector, and SpaceX is definitely the company that’s carrying US spaceflight today. And these accomplishments, ultimately, could not really be separated from Musk, flaws and all. 

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“Glass Onion” director addresses alleged Elon Musk “idiot billionaire” parallels
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