Darren Aronofsky opposite a photo of Elon Musk

Oh Boy, Darren Aronofsky Is Making an Elon Musk Biopic

Now that the SAG-AFTRA strike has ended, Hollywood can get back to making movies to distract us from the eternal hellscape we’re forced to navigate on a daily basis. Actors can go back to promoting those distractions, giving us pretty faces to look at and enjoy. Antithetical to all of the above, Darren Aronofsky is set to direct a biopic about Elon Musk for A24.

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To be fair, A24 has released some of the most fucked-up horror films, and I can think of few less fucked-up horrors than Elon Musk. Per Variety, A24 won the rights to Walter Isaacson’s recently published biography of the moronic tech mogul following “heated competition” among studios eager to make the next Social Network or Steve Jobs (which was also based on a biography by Isaacson). Aronofsky, who most recently directed last year’s The Whale—which earned Brendan Fraser an Oscar for Best Actor—and Postcard From Earth for the new Sphere Experience in Las Vegas, will direct the Musk biopic.

It isn’t clear if Aronofsky will adapt Isaacson’s book himself. The filmmaker directed The Whale (bad) from Samuel D. Hunter’s adaptation of his own play (also bad), and directed both Black Swan (good) and The Wrestler (also good, but with asterisks for Mickey Rourke) from screenplays he did not write. There are several titles in Aronofsky’s filmography that make him kind of perfect for directing a Musk biopic: Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan, and Mother! in particular are visceral psychological horror films about deeply unwell people, suggesting he’ll give Musk the treatment he deserves. I wouldn’t mind watching an avant garde psycho-thriller about a toddler the size of a grown man, endowed with outsized wealth and fame and privilege. He is truly representative of so much of this world’s worst ills.

And Aronofsky has proven himself capable of confronting such narcissism, even within himself. In Mother!, Aronofsky depicts himself as God (singular), imagining the deity as an emotional terrorist who traps every woman he falls in love with in a nightmarish cycle of navel-gazing creation and petty destruction. It’s also about the environment, or whatever.

Some of the best movies are made about some of the worst and most (in)famous men. David Fincher’s The Social Network, Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs, most of Martin Scorsese’s filmography. Who better to make a movie about shitty men than another man? When you gaze into the abyss, etc.

On one hand, I’m sure we’d all prefer not to indulge Elon Musk further. The man is a black hole that thrives on the energy of our attention, good and bad—okay, it’s almost entirely bad, which is also what makes his fame so mystifying. On the other hand, he spent $44 billion on a social media platform because he wanted to be the most popular shit-poster on said platform. That is straight-up loser behavior! He should be mocked mercilessly! It is deeply upsetting that this guy not only has a lot of money, but he has THE MOST MONEY. Our society is sick!

And on yet another hand, Darren Aronofsky really believed he was being empathetic to fat people when he made The Whale, a movie that treats Brendan Fraser, trapped under 400 pounds of prosthetics, going on a food bender with the same abject horror as Jaws scarfing down that nice swimming lady.

I guess the question is: Does Darren Aronofsky relate to Elon Musk, or is he fascinated by him in the same way he’s fascinated by climate change and mental illness?

(featured image: Unique Nicole, FilmMagic / Leon Neal, Getty Images)

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Britt Hayes
Britt Hayes (she/her) is an editor, writer, and recovering film critic with over a decade of experience. She has written for The A.V. Club, Birth.Movies.Death, and The Austin Chronicle, and is the former associate editor for ScreenCrush. Britt's work has also been published in Fangoria, TV Guide, and SXSWorld Magazine. She loves film, horror, exhaustively analyzing a theme, and casually dissociating. Her brain is a cursed tomb of pop culture knowledge.