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Movies & TV

05th Jan 2023

Edward Norton reveals inspiration for very subtle Glass Onion joke

Rory Cashin

edward norton glass onion

We didn’t spot this one the first time we watched it…

Spoilers for the third most-watched movie in Netflix history.

During the opening puzzle sequence of Glass Onion, famed musician Yo-Yo Ma explains to his co-stars (but, really, to us at home) what a particular music tune is: “A fugue is a beautiful musical puzzle based on just one tune. And when you layer this tune on top of itself, it starts to change and turns into a beautiful new structure.”

Of course, this is exactly what happens in the movie itself, which essentially stops telling its story halfway through to go all the way back to the start and retell it from a slightly different perspective.

It is one of the many, many jokes, nods and references throughout Glass Onion that only really reveal themselves upon multiple viewings, but Edward Norton has given an explanation for what is arguably the movie’s most subtle joke.

And no, we don’t mean the Tom Cruise gag.

In the movie, Norton plays a tech billionaire – who definitely isn’t based on Elon Musk, cough – who claims to have created his fortune on an idea he jotted down on a napkin.

He takes part in a photoshoot showing off his idea napkin, and with the high-neck black jumper, you might be forgiven it was a reference to someone like Steve Jobs.

Instead, you might recognise the similarities from the recent Disney+ hit show, The Dropout…

Yep, Norton’s outfit and positioning in the photoshoot is a direct homage to Elizabeth Holmes (played by Amanda Seyfried in the Disney show), the creator of Theranos… a billion-dollar tech company that was revealed to be built on a series of huge deceptions.

But while the reference was correct, Norton took to Twitter to clarify it ever so slightly:

Well-spotted but our reference photo was actually this one. Took a lot of tries to get that weird ‘crossed eye while trying to project seriousness’ just right!”

And here is that photo he was talking about. Uncanny.

Glass Onion is available to watch on Netflix right now.