Don’t Worry… The Elon Musk-Like Villains Are Not Going Anywhere
I remember watching an older Stephen Colbert interview with Elon Musk in which the Late Night host called Musk either „a superhero or a super villain“. You have to choose one, Colbert said.
Well, I don’t know about him personally, but I’ve been seeing versions of him on both sides of the spectrum in plenty of Hollywood movies. For what once was the mad scientist (think Nikola Tesla) the new breed of scientists has been prevailing in Hollywood for quite some time.
The uber rich (read billionaire), tech wiz with his own Space craft scientist. And while I was watching Venom this past weekend, I found another version of Musk in Carlton Drake. Idealistic visionary that swings on both sides of moral ambiguity, a man that just sane enough to be feared and rich enough to be admired.
But is it really new? No, not really if you take a closer look at it. Carlton Drake is just the latest example of the Elon Musk-like villains that are portrayed in modern day cinema, but there have been cases of him, decades and decades before the Riz Ahmed portrayed character in Venom.
Lex Luthor is one such prime example and so is Hugo Drax in James Bond’s Moonraker. For instance the Wikipade page of the Hugo Drax character states that (the film version of the character) is a billionaire who owns Drax Industries, a private company which constructs space shuttles for NASA. Sounds familiar? Yeah, I thought so…
But what about the times when Elon Musk like character was used to do good? In that very same interview Colbert also calls Musk – „The Real Tony Stark“. A hero in his own right, and a nickname that is associated today in plenty of media and social media presence. And in my opinion he’s more a Tony Stark than Carlton Drake, but the film industry keeps portraying a film version of him as the bad guy. As the guy who will most likely become this planet’s doom and not it’s savior?
I was baffled by the studio’s decision to name make him the CEO a typical genetics corporation, and at the same time that corporation to have a Spacex like products. You know… Private American aerospace and space transportation services that are also associated with the real life Elon Musk.
But I suppose this trend is not going to stop. I suppose film studios will produce versions and version of Elon Musk in order to entertain us. Regardless if they’ll be on the good or on the evil side, Elon Musk will remain a constant source of inspiration for every supporting character out there.