Glass bulb escaped villains can’t use iPhones with Samsung Fold

Ahead of availability on Netflix next month, Glass onion: A Knives Out Mystery is currently in theaters for a one-week limited release. It’s a nuanced film, but one of the more clever things was how Rian Johnson escaped something that the director said was “will [him] on the next mystery film. Some spoilers about Glass onion below.

Back in February 2020, Johnson shared how “bad guys can’t have iPhones on camera” and stated how “Every single filmmaker that has a bad guy in their movie that’s supposed to be a secret wants to murder me right now” for the reveal.

Apple, they let you use iPhones in movies, but, and this is very crucial, if you ever see a mystery movie, villains can’t have iPhones on camera.

Ryan Johnson

In the 2019 film, Apple is listed in the “producers would like to thank” section of the end credits. The character, played by Chris Evans, prominently uses an Android phone (as well as Chrome and Proton Mail). Everyone else had an iPhone, and more than a few people wore an Apple Watch.

The sequel, which was part of an intense bidding war with Apple and Amazon before Netflix won, sees many of the characters using Android-powered Samsung foldables. We see several Galaxy Fold and Flip devices being actively used by the main cast.

Dave Bautista’s character was on Fold, while Kathryn Hahn had a Flip. Kate Hudson has also used a regular Galaxy S smartphone. Some liberties could have been taken in terms of device generations with slightly newer models – to my eye – used than what was available when the film was set in mid-2020.

The widespread use of non-iPhone devices probably serves several purposes. First, to satisfy this Apple edict (in more ways than one…), but also to confuse viewers who are aware of “villains can’t have iPhones on camera.” At the same time, Johnson wants us to be suspicious of the main cast, and their non-iPhone use seems to confirm that.

There is also a fourth purpose (the second, greater way Glass onion escapes ‘villains can’t use iPhones’), but I’d rather not spoil that before more people see the film.

Meanwhile, the iPad Pro has comedic appearances and name checks by Daniel Craig and Edward Norton. Other notable and mild spoiler-y technical inclusions include:

  • Daniel Craig – in a bathtub – plays (and is bad at) Among Us with Natasha Lyonne, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Angela Lansbury and Stephen Sondheim.
  • YouTube and Twitch live streams.
  • Heavy, if not central to the plot, use of Google Alerts by Dave Bautista.
  • A key (fictional) news article from The Verge.

Glass onion: A Knives Out Mystery coming to Netflix on December 23rd.

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