A lot of people in Hollywood must be worried about the NSA’s wiretap scandal. In two cases this week regarding two very different movies, Hollywood is casting Barack Obama in the role of the heavy, and the National Security Agency as his henchmen.
Case #1, this hilarious column at Film.com by Eric Snider. Here’s how Snider opens his mock transcript of the pitch meeting that greenlit the atrocity known as The Lone Ranger starring Johnny Depp as Tonto sporting a dead bird on his head for some reason (most likely, to distract the audience from noticing that he’s just playing Jack Sparrow again).
They say movies are like sausages: if you like them, you shouldn’t watch how they’re made, because it’s an ugly process that involves a lot of pigs’ anuses. But around here we disregard conventional wisdom and go behind the scenes of your favorite Hollywood productions, and also of “The Lone Ranger” (read our review of the film here). The NSA was kind enough to lend us their recording of the boardroom pitch meeting that led to this big-budget extravaganza, a transcript of which is copied below.
One instance could be happenstance, but two, well that’s a trend. RED 2 is opening this month. In the trailer that’s currently running on TV, Barack Obama is explicitly depicted as the villain, using nothing more than his own dishonest remarks on the NSA’s widespread wiretapping of all living things on planet Earth.
As Mediaite’s Evan McMurry points out:
“I want to make it clear: nobody is listening to your telephone calls,” Obama says over ringing phones, and then, over quick clips of exploding cars and Mirren firing guns with both hands: “The people involved in national security take this work very seriously.”
The best use of Obama’s post-Snowden spin is “We’re going to have to make some choices.” Obama was referring to the alleged trade-off between privacy and security that has been posited to the public, especially since 9/11. On the trailer, though, a bomb expert is confronted with a red wire and green wire, one of which will disarm of the bomb and one which will ignite it.
He cuts both. Perhaps they’re saying something about America’s overkill approach to the war on terror? Probably not. But Obama can’t be happy that he’s now the serious-faced, pro-authority villain of light-hearted summer action flicks.
The NSA scandal is just one of several floating around the Obama gang these days. The IRS abuse, spying on media, fomenting riots around the Zimmerman trial, Benghazi, and Fast and Furious are all still live scandals. Two of them have body counts. So why does the NSA scandal seem to be the one that’s resonating in Hollywood?