While appearing in a video for Vanity Fair’s “Notes On A Scene” series, Knives Out director Rian Johnson shared a detail about Apple’s product placement demands. Johnson’s film, which was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Original Screenplay category, is a deconstruction of puzzle box stories in the Agatha Christie mold. The movie made over $300 million dollars worldwide and its success has paved the way for an as yet untitled sequel based around Daniel Craig’s detective character, Benoit Blanc. Production on Knives Out 2 is described as “imminent.”

In addition to Craig, Knives Out featured a star-studded cast that included Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, and Christopher Plummer. The film followed the suspicious death of a mystery novel magnate whose family is quick to turn on one another once Benoit Blanc starts to unravel the mystery. Knives Out’s original story was considered part of its draw, as audiences start to tire of franchise movies and endless sequels.

Johnson’s Vanity Fair video contains many insights into how Knives Out came to life but perhaps the most interesting is his iPhone reveal. Johnson himself is hesitant to give the clue away as it has far-ranging implications for a multitude of movies, including any future mysteries of his own. He quickly relented, however, saying that, “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.” 

Johnson clearly is having a lot of fun divulging that “spoiler” as he ends the segment by joking that “every single filmmaker who has a bad guy in their movie that’s supposed to be a secret wants to murder me right now.” Though this could be a potential plot hook if Johnson wants to go meta with Benoit Blanc’s next mystery, it’s more likely just a fun bit of movie trivia for fans. However, this would not have been an issue in the classic detective stories Knives Out pays tribute to.

It’s fascinating that Apple’s branding efforts go as far as to mandate a complete ban on bad guys using their products, since by nature it forces all villains to be identified as Android or Google guys, unless those companies employ a similar embargo. From how Johnson describes Ransom in the video, though, it seems like the character’s villainy wouldn’t be the only issue Apple took with his use of their products. The director noted that Ransom’s costume aesthetic was “incredibly nice clothes that he obviously didn’t take care of” so it seems likely any iPhone in his care wouldn’t be in a condition to be shown off anyway. Fans will have to be on the lookout for who does and doesn’t have an iPhone in the highly anticipated Knives Out sequel.

Next: The Best Movies of 2019

Source: Vanity Fair