Rian Johnson Says Glass Onion Mirroring Elon Musk's Twitter Downfall Was A 'Horrible, Horrible Accident'

This article contains major spoilers for "Glass Onion."

Where "Knives Out" featured a cast of suspects that resembled archetypes during the height of the Trump era, in "Glass Onion," the great detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is marooned with an ensemble that resembles the leeches of a world ravaged by the pandemic. Although these characters aren't direct indictments of real-world folks, it's difficult not to see the obvious parallels. The most striking resemblance of them all, however, lies in Miles Bron (Edward Norton), a tech billionaire who gathers his inner circle of friends to join him on his private island for a murder mystery, which goes terribly sideways.

Over the past few months, the world of social media has had front-row seats to the very public meltdown of Elon Musk. Day by day, the predicament of purchasing Twitter for over $44 billion has not gone exactly as he thought it would. Rather than trying to make the platform a better place, he's only shown the public the true demeanor of parasites like himself. 

The character of Miles feels so pointed at Musk, yet according to director Rian Johnson, the release of "Glass Onion" amid the Tesla CEO's downfall was merely a case of impeccable timing (via Wired):

"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?"

'It's very bizarre'

I think the cultural accuracy of the characters in "Glass Onion" goes to show how attuned Johnson is to the very stupid times we live in. "It's so weird. It's very bizarre," he said.

He's right on the money talking about Miles as an amalgamation of reckless tech billionaires, as the character's DNA is built upon the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Elizabeth Holmes, with Musk's idiocy thrown in for good measure. In many ways, Johnson has created the ultimate pastiche. Miles surrounds himself with folks like Duke (Dave Bautista), a dim-witted men's rights activist streamer, in addition to Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson), a vapid supermodel influencer with a penchant for tweeting out racial and ethnic slurs.

The boom of negligent tech billionaires used to have Zuckerberg under the microscope, but everything Musk has been doing lately has all but stolen the spotlight. Norton brilliantly portrays the fragile ego of this kind of public figure crumbling at the slightest bit of criticism. As the mystery of "Glass Onion" unfolds, so does the collapse of Miles' frail empire.

Miles has no solid ground to stand on, so he buys his loyalty instead. Akin to the Glass Onion itself, the lack of integrity is hidden in plain sight. The finale portrays Miles as a petulant child who is way too easily rattled when he doesn't get his way. Johnson may not have intended for Norton's character to directly parallel Musk, but the correspondence is uncanny, especially when it comes to releasing a new product with potentially catastrophic consequences.

"Glass Onion" is currently streaming on Netflix.