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How Apple's Weird iPhone Rule Spoils Rian Johnson's Last Movie

Turns out that Knives Out's big twist was hiding in plain sight all along.

In the months since Rian Johnson's whodunit caper hit theaters back in November of 2019, fans have picked apart every beautifully crafted aspect of the murder mystery. The film follows "Kentucky-fried" Southern private investigator Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) as he investigates the suspicious apparent suicide of mystery writer Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer); the all-star cast of suspects includes Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Chris Evans, Toni Collette, Don Johnson, Katherine Langford, and Ana de Armas. Thanks to Johnson's ingenious plot and careful storytelling, Knives Out is one of those rare murder mysteries where the tracks are laid so perfectly that it turns out the big twist was handed to the audience right away. 

With that being said, the intricate story is incredibly hard to completely piece together without repeat viewings, so unless a real-life Benoit Blanc was in the audience somewhere, it doesn't feel likely that the average audience member would have solved Knives Out's mystery right off the bat. However, according to Johnson, an odd tech-related rule would have spoiled the flick for anyone in the know. During a recent installment of Vanity Fair's popular YouTube series Notes on a Scene, Johnson did an in-depth dive on a scene focusing on a fight between the members of the Thrombey family, and unearthed a surprising yet key revelation. Here's how tech giant Apple's weird iPhone rule might have completely spoiled Knives Out

Spoilers for Knives Out to follow!

Bad guys have a strange aversion to iPhones

While going through the scene, Johnson admitted, "I don't know if I should say this or not... not 'cause it's like, lascivious or something, but because it's going to screw me on the next mystery movie that I write. 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."

Realizing he might have said too much, Johnson joked, "Oh, no! Every single filmmaker that has a bad guy in their movie that's supposed to be a secret wants to murder me right now."

The reason for this reveal is that, in the scene in question, Jamie Lee Curtis' character is clearly seen in possession of an iPhone, revealing that she's not the person behind her father's mysterious death. Of course, the perp turns out to be Chris Evans' Hugh "Ransom," Drysdale, but if any viewers knew about Apple's "rule," they could have ruled Curtis out immediately.

As reported by Gizmodo, this news is pretty unsurprising considering Apple's iron fist when it comes to their products. Laptops that are clearly MacBook models often appear in films and television shows with a sticker placed strategically over the trademark apple logo on the lid. Wired also reported, over a decade ago, that shows like 24 always had the bad guys using Android products while good guys like Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) wielded iPhones.

Android users might feel a bit slighted by this news, but in any case, keep an eye out during your next modern mystery; you might be able to solve the entire case by the technology on display alone.