Why not make a toast to the occasion? Sunday’s Academy Awards won’t give a prize for best villain, but if they did, Miles Bron would win it in a walk. (With an apology to the cloud of “Nope.”) He is an immediately recognizable type we’ve grown well acquainted with: a visionary (or so everyone says), a social media narcissist, a self-styled disrupter who talks a lot about “breaking stuff.”
Miles Bron has it all latest in a long line of Hollywood’s favorite villain: the tech bro. The movie industry is looking north towards Silicon Valley to find its greatest resource for big-screen villains since Soviet Russia.
Fantastic movie villains don’t come along often. Nominated for the best picture “Top Gun: Maverick,” Like its predecessor, it was happy to fight with an unspecified enemy of unknown nationality. It is unnecessary to antagonize foreign ticket buyers when Tom Cruise Vs. Whomever works perfectly.
But in recent years, the tech bro has proliferated on movie screens as Hollywood’s go-to bad guy. It’s a rise that has mirrored mounting fears over technology’s expanding reach into our lives and increasing skepticism for the not always altruistic motives of the men – and it is mostly men – who control today’s digital empires.
We’ve had the devious Biosyn Genetics CEO (Campbell Scott) in “Jurassic World: Dominion, a franchise dedicated to the peril of tech overreach; Chris Hemsworth’s biotech overlord in “Spiderhead”; and Mark Rylance’s maybe-Earth-destroying tech guru in 2021’s “Don’t Look Up.” We’ve had Eisenberg, again, as a tech bro-styled Lex Luthor in 2016’s “Batman v. Superman”; Harry Melling’s pharmaceutical entrepreneur in 2020’s “The Old Guard”; Taika Waititi’s rule-breaking videogame mogul in 2021’s “Free Guy”; Oscar Isaac’s search engine CEO in 2014’s “Ex Machina”; and the critical portrait of the Apple co-founder in 2015’s “Steve Jobs.”
Kids movies, too, regularly channel parental anxieties about technology’s impact on children. In 2021’s “The Mitchells vs. the Machines,” The robot apocalypse is brought about by a recently launched AI. “Ron’s Gone Wrong” 2021 also employed a robot metaphor to describe smartphone addiction. The TV series also rushed aggressively to portray Big. Tech blunders. Recent entries include: Uber’s Travis Kalanick in Showtime’s “Super Pumped”; Theranos’ Elizabeth Holmes in Hulu’s “The Dropout”; and WeWork’s Adam and Rebekah Neumann in Apple TV’s “We Crashed.”
These portrayals could be attributed to Hollywood jealousy at the rise of another California center of innovation. These two worlds have merged over time. These films were made by many companies. are disrupters, themselves — none more than Netflix, distributor of “Glass Onion.” The streamer was cajoled into releasing Johnson’s sequel more widely in theaters than any previous Netflix release. Estimates suggested the film collected some $15 million over opening weekend, the old fashioned way, but Netflix executives have said they don’t plan to make a habit of such theatrical rollouts.
The distrust is deeper than any Hollywood-Silicon Valley rivalry. A recent Quinnipiac poll It was found that 73% of Americans believe social media companies are more harmful than beneficial. Tech leaders like Meta chief Mark Zuckerberg have at times been seen favorably by only 1 in 5 Americans.
Tech is a character. bros — hoodie-wearing descendants of the mad scientist — have formed an archetype: Masters of the universe whose hubris leads to catastrophe, social media savants who can’t manage their personal relationships. We end up in their world regardless of whether their future visions are realized. They’re villains Who see themselves as heroes.
“In my mind, he’s really the most dangerous human being around,” Rylance talks about Peter Isherwell. “He believes that we can dominate our way out of any problem that nature hands us. I think that’s the same kind of thinking that’s got us into the problem we’re in now, trying to dominate each other and dominate all the life we’re intimately connected to and dependent on.”
“Glass Onion,” nominee for best screenplay. This is an exciting new stage in the tech mogul mockery. Norton’s eminently punchable CEO, with a name so nearly “Bro,” is enormously rich, powerful , considering that he’s working on a volatile new energy source, dangerous. But Bron is also, as Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc eventually deduces, an idiot. “A vainglorious buffoon,” Blanc says.
In Johnson’s film, the tech bro/emperor bro truly has no clothes. He’s just skating by with lies, deceit and a bunch of not-real words like “predefinite” and “inbreathiate.”
Johnson was a prolific writer “Glass Onion” Well before Elon Musk’s shambolic Twitter takeover, the movie’s release seemed almost preternaturally timed to coincide with it. The Tesla and SpaceX chief executive was only one of Johnson’s real-world inspirations, some took Bron as a direct Musk parody. Ben Shapiro, a conservative commentator on Twitter claimed Johnson was portraying Musk as “a bad and stupid man,” He called it “an incredibly stupid theory, since Musk is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in human history.” He said: “How many rockets has Johnson launched lately?”
Musk, himself, hasn’t publicly commented on “Glass Onion,” But he’s had many issues with Hollywood in the past, especially its portrayals of him as a man. “Hollywood refuses to write even one story about an actual company startup where the CEO isn’t a dweeb and/or evil,” Musk made this tweet last year.
Musk is set to soon have his movie. Alex Gibney, Oscar-winning documentaryarian and Oscar winner announced Monday that he has been working for several months. “Musk,” These producers claim they will provide a “definitive and unvarnished examination” Of the tech entrepreneur.
At the same time as the tech bro’s supervillainy supremacy has emerged, some movies have sought not to lampoon Big Tech but to imbibe some of the digital world’s infinite expanse. Christopher Miller, Phil Lord and Phil Lord produced “The Mitchells vs the Machines” The multiverse-splitting “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” According to them, the internet has profoundly affected their filmmaking approach.
“We, legacy media, are responding in maybe subconscious ways to new media,” “Lord.” “We’re all just trying to figure out how to live in the new world. It’s changing people’s behavior. It changes the way we find and experience love. It changes the way we live. Of course, the stories we tell and how we tell them are going to change as well and reflect that. ‘Into the Spider-Verse’ certainly reflects having a lot of content from every era in your brain all at the same time.”
The best-picture favorite “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” This is also reflective of our media-bombarded, multi-screen lives. Daniel Kwan, writer-director, and Daniel Scheinert (whose film is available for viewing), are up for the challenge. a leading 11 Oscars, say they wanted to channel the confusion and heartache of living in the everything-everywhere existence that tech moguls like Miles Bron helped create.
“The reason why we made the movie is because that’s what modern life feels like,” says Kwan.
So even though Miles Bron won’t go home with an Academy Award on Sunday, he still wins, in a way. It’s his world. We’re all just living in it.