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'Glass Onion' Creator Weighs In On Comparison Between Edward Norton's Character And Elon Musk

Rian Johnson, the director and writer of 'Knives Out', says it was a 'horrible accident' the film debuted during Musk's Twitter takeover.

Elon Musk; Twitter screenshot of Edward Norton as Miles in "Glass Onion"
Saul Martinez/Getty Images; Netflix

Speaking to Wired, Glass Onion director and writer Rian Johnson said it was a "horrible accident" that the film debuted amid controversy over billionaire Elon Musk's stewardship of Twitter.

Johnson wrote the companion film to his 2019 hit Knives Out at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and it features a scene-stealing performance by actor Edward Norton in the role of Miles, an egotistical tech billionaire who lures an eccentric cast of characters to a Greek island for help solving the mystery of his own murder.

Miles is the tech bro who "refuses to acknowledge when his big ideas are bad—or even dangerous," as Wired wrote in a tweet, which underscores the film's kicker he is far from a genius and more of a lucky moron.

Conservative commentators like Daily Wire founder Ben Shapiro have responded negatively to the character.

Shapiro in particular accused Johnson of taking inspiration from Musk to write the character.

However, Johnson notes he started writing the film well before Musk acquired Twitter and generated controversy for using the platform to silence his critics and peddle misinformation.

He told Wired he never wrote Glass Onion—which is currently streaming on Netflix—with Musk in mind.

“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.”
“There’s a lot of general stuff about that sort of species of tech billionaire that went directly into [the movie]. 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?”

But accident or not, timing could not be more perfect as far as Twitter users were concerned.

Johnson did tell Wired that he used the archetype of a tech billionaire to write "the type of friends that they would have," which helped the "tenor of everything came together."

He said his "intent was to accurately reflect what it’s been like to have our heads in the middle of the cultural sphere" since 2016, saying the present moment is "a pretty nightmarish kind of carnival, Fellini-esque inflated reality right now."

Musk himself has not commented on the similarities between him and the Miles character even as conservative news outlets like Fox News continue to claim that Glass Onion is a "veiled dig" at him.