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Credit: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for BAFTA / May James/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Sorry Snoke, no iPhone for you: Rian Johnson says Apple won't let movie baddies use its products

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Feb 26, 2020

Apple is a respected technology brand the world over, so it's no wonder why the company won't let its reputation be tarnished by cinematic bad guys. During a scene breakdown of Knives Out for Vanity Fair, filmmaker Rian Johnson (Looper, Star Wars: The Last Jedi) revealed that Apple allegedly forbids its devices to be abused by villains onscreen.

"Another funny thing...I don't know if I should say this or not. Not because it's like lascivious or something, but because it's gonna screw me on the next mystery movie that I write," he said in the video below with a laugh. "Forget it, I'll say it—it's very interesting. Apple...they let you use iPhones in movies but—and this is very pivotal if you’re ever watching a mystery movie—bad guys cannot have iPhones on camera,” he said in the video below. "Oh, no! Every single filmmaker who has a bad guy in their movie that's supposed to be a secret wants to murder me right now."

So next time you see a character making a phone call on a Galaxy 7S, odds are good that they're an antagonist.

Product placement is par for the course in Hollywood projects, but Johnson's insight does a lot to explain why big budget films often use brands that aren't as recognizable or beloved as Apple. The house the iPod built is famously careful about how its products are portrayed in mass media, so as wacky as it sounds, this kind of makes sense.

"Apple is known for having strict rules about how devices are used, portrayed, and photographed," reads a recent post by MacRumors. "As part of its guidelines for using Apple trademarks and copyrights, for example, Apple says that Apple products should only be shown 'in the best light, in a manner or context that reflects favorably on the Apple products and on Apple Inc.'"

Lionsgate recently gave the green-light to a Knives Out sequel.


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