Demolition Man Writer Daniel Waters Thinks Taco Bell Was A Perfect Match

The sexless, violence-free world of the 1993 Sylvester Stallone-starring science fiction movie "Demolition Man" is a pretty fascinating satire of our own corporate dystopia. Cities have become mega-cities (much like 1995's "Judge Dredd," also starring Stallone) and the corporations that survived the Franchise Wars rule all, which means that all restaurants are now owned by one franchise: Taco Bell. Some people might be thrilled to discover that all dining establishments are now Taco Bells, while others get heartburn just thinking about it — but what about the film's writer, Daniel Waters? Waters had the not-enviable task of picking up a script penned by Robert Reneau and Peter M. Lenkov and turning it into something palatable for 1990s audiences. And while it turns out the whole Taco Bell thing wasn't his idea, he absolutely loved it.

In a 2020 interview with Vulture, Waters was asked about his feelings regarding Taco Bell being the only restaurant left in the world, and he revealed that there were originally other restaurants written into the script, but the film's public relations folks refused to sign off. Just imagine: In another timeline, we might have seen a "Demolition Man" where Stallone and Sandra Bullock dine out at a Jack in the Box or Waffle House! That last one doesn't really sound so bad. I'll have mine scattered, smothered, and covered, please!

All Taco Bell, all the time

Vulture asked Daniel Waters if he was a "Taco Bell person," which I assume means a fan of the Mexican cuisine inspired fast food chain and not an actual human made of Chalupas. The writer affirmed that he does like to "Live Más":

"I am a Taco Bell person. We have great Mexican food out here in L.A. People are like, 'Oh, Taco Bell is not real Mexican food.' I'm going, 'Yes, we know. Much like 'Demolition Man,' it's its own genre.' To be quite honest, my original draft was Burger King, and then Burger King scoffed and McDonald's scoffed. When Taco Bell came around, it was like, 'Of course! Taco Bell! The greatest thing that's ever happened to this movie.'"

In the film, Sylvester Stallone's character is cryogenically frozen in the '90s and then thawed decades later in order to hunt down a vicious killer (played by Wesley Snipes). When Stallone's character goes out for dinner with his handler (played by Sandra Bullock), he discovers that all restaurants are now Taco Bell. Fast food? Taco Bell. Fine dining? Taco Bell. Brunch? Taco Bell. The Taco Bell thing works because of the franchise's place in pop culture. Taco Bell is typically the food of late-night excursions or college students trying to cure their hangovers, whereas McDonald's and Burger King are more family-focused. Every restaurant being Taco Bell is funny, but every restaurant being McDonald's would be downright depressing.

But wait... what about Pizza Hut?

Readers outside of the United States might be wondering what the heck I'm talking about, and that's fair. You see, in the European version of the movie, Taco Bell was replaced with Pizza Hut. The international version of "Demolition Man" doesn't feature anything new in terms of footage, mind you. It simply dubs over the dialogue mentioning Taco Bell and digitally replaces the Taco Bell logo with the one for Pizza Hut. Apparently, the film's executives were concerned that international audiences wouldn't recognize Taco Bell. U.S. audiences ate it up, of course, and "Demolition Man" even had a Taco Bell pop-up fine dining experience at San Diego Comic Con in 2018. 

There is one lingering problem, however. We all know what eating lots of Taco Bell does to one's south of the border, and that involves some time in the restroom. With only the three seashells to take care of business and no toilet paper or bidets in the "Demolition Man" universe, things would inevitably have to get weird. Oh well, at least there's no war!