Edward Norton's Glass Onion Character Isn't Directly Based On A Certain Tech Billionaire, Even Though It Feels Like It

We all love a good social commentary, don't we, folks? Rian Johnson sure does, as evidenced by his 2019 whodunit hit, "Knives Out," and this sure doesn't look to be any different with its upcoming Netflix sequel, "Glass Onion." However, the cast of characters surrounding this new Benoit Blanc mystery might feel more familiar than the bickering socialites we were introduced to in the first film.

In the upcoming December 2022 issue of Total Film, the writer-director revealed that he drew inspiration for this new cast from ongoing cultural and societal shifts. Think the alpha male influencers, the terminally-online billionaires, and the shallow #girlboss, just to name a few. Despite this, the suspects of "Glass Onion" aren't necessarily supposed to resemble actual people — just the ideas surrounding them.

"I've found for myself that any time I get too specific in terms of basing characters on actual people, I lose the thread very quickly, and it becomes boring," Johnson explained. "There's nothing that interesting to me about lampooning any specific person, really."

Anyways, it seems that the actors Johnson wrangled up for "Glass Onion" feel the same. Edward Norton, who plays tech billionaire Miles in the film, even compares the director to the franchise's main inspiration, author Agatha Christie.

"I think Rian's really good at writing characters that, as he said about Agatha Christie, are recognizable," he said. "He sets up a mystery that's cut through with the zeitgeist of the moment that he's living in."

Dear friends and disruptors

This line of thinking makes a lot of sense when you think about it. While it can be funny to base a character on a real-life figure, you face a few different issues. Perhaps most obvious is that the figure will recognize the similarities between them and the character at hand, and you can't always guarantee they'll take it in good spirits. Wouldn't it be a shame if one of those figures had near-total control of a major platform that they can use to retaliate against people they perceive as enemies? That would suck, and I personally am grateful that we don't have to live in a world where online parody results in permanent bannings and suspensions!

"Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery" will screen in theaters for one week starting on November 23. After that, it will arrive exclusively on Netflix on December 23. As for the latest issue of Total Film, it will go on sale on November 10, with preorders being available here.