If you ever see iPhones in movies, chances are good the character using one isn’t the villain. That’s because, according to Knives Out and Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson, Apple strongly discourages the practice.
In a new video interview with Vanity Fair, Johnson describes how Apple’s policy on the uses of its products in films is pretty strict. “[Apple] lets 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,” Johnson says in the video.
In Johnson’s latest film, Knives Out, nearly every character is suspected of murdering another. The “whodunnit” nature of the film could, theoretically, be spoiled if you note which character uses an Android phone instead of an iPhone, for example.
This policy doesn’t seem to stop at just iPhones in movies. This Wired article from nearly 20 years ago discusses how bad guys on the show 24 all use Windows PCs while the heroes all use MacBooks.
However, things aren’t always so cut-and-dry. In the Academy Award-winning film Parasite, the poor main characters (shown in the image above) all use Android devices while the rich family members all use iPhones. One could make a valid argument that the anti-capitalist sentiment of Parasite suggests that the rich family are the villains, which would go against Apple’s policy on iPhones in movies.
Apple’s policy likely only really applies when the villain is well-established, such as a Bond villain or a serial killer. However, we’ll need to be on the lookout from now on to see who’s holding what kind of phone in films.