Apple Won’t Allow Villains To Use iPhones In Movies


People who watch hundreds and thousands of films tend to pick up on certain details that reveal things about characters not explicitly mentioned. Even so, Knives Out director Rian Johnson has revealed one thing that might be new information even to the most seasoned movie viewer. And that’s that you’ll never see a villain use an iPhone.

The revelation came early in a video for Vanity Fair where Johnson breaks down a scene from his demented murder mystery, one at the halfway point that sees his eclectic and impressive ensemble cast together as the family of suspects gather for the reading of the will of their deceased patriarch. Johnson’s comment on the professionalism of the props department establishing what time should be visible on a phone’s screen led to the offhand revelation.

“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. Every single filmmaker who has a bad guy in their movie that’s supposed to be a secret wants to murder me right now!”

The stipulation is likely due to the company feeling that they could potentially be placed in a negative light if their technology is seen in the hands of a murderer and even aiding them in eluding justice. However, it’s interesting to note that in that same scene and in much of the rest of the film, surly teenager Jacob (Jaeden Martell) is seen on an iPhone, despite a running joke regarding his neo-Nazi views on society.

Despite the revelation, Apple’s policy is unlikely to change, as they are doubtless far more concerned with brand perception that the narrative integrity of entertainment. Johnson is certainly right in that it will alter the perspective of viewers though, and only semi-joked that his words were “going to screw me on the next mystery movie that I write.” It’s kind of true, though, as any character can now be ruled out from potentially being revealed as a hidden villain should they be seen using a device with the right logo, including in the follow-up to Knives Out that he’s planning.