The pentagon has reportedly “chosen” the Hollywood re-boot of Superman to introduce the world to the most expensive weapons program in human history, the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet plane. The new stealth jet will appear in Man of Steel, the latest regurgi… ahem excuse me, “re-imagined” Superman adaptation starring Russell Crowe and directed by Zach Snyder.
“It was a target of opportunity,” Phil Strub, the Pentagon’s Hollywood liaison, tells Danger Room. “They liked the idea of having the most modern, the newest fighter aircraft in the background,”
While Strub denies that the fighters have anything to do with the plot, IMDB lists two actors as “F-35 pilots” in the film.
The F-35 is a single engine jet with stealth capability, built by Lockheed Martin. It is mainly being funded by the Pentagon with some aid from other NATO countries. The program has been somewhat dogged by safety and performance concerns, as well as the fact that it has been estimated that it will cost $1.5 trillion.
Last year the defense contractor released a video with a slick rock band playing in front of footage of the jet.
As Danger Room points out, The Pentagon has injected advanced military hardware into practically every recent big hollywood action movie. F-22 raptors were prominently featured in Iron Man and Transformers 2. The first Transformers film received record amounts of funding from the Pentagon, as well as active duty troops, tanks, and twelve different kinds of aircraft. Scenes were filmed on military bases and even inside the Pentagon.
Of course, the object of placing the latest weapons as well as active duty troops next to fictional super heroes who “save the day” is a no-brainer – it’s propaganda 101, and it’s been going on for decades.
The movie was seen as so influential that the Pentagon started to create recruitment ads that just looked like Top Gun:
Most recently, the Pentagon fully sponsored X-Men First Class, combining scenes from the film into recruitment ads and offering exclusive footage to visitors of the army’s recruitment website:
Earlier this year, the Pentagon went one further, as the Navy’s Special Warfare Command actually commissioned a movie to be made. Act Of Valor, was intended wholly as recruiting propaganda dressed up as a Hollywood movie.
The relationship between the military and Hollywood is a cozy one. Filmmakers get access to high-tech, tax-payer funded hardware, and the Pentagon gets to literally re-write the scripts, editing out anything they perceive as portraying the military negatively.
However, the Pentagon routinely refuses to cooperate in the making of films such as Apocalypse Now, Platoon and Forrest Gump, because they portray the harrowing reality of war. Ironically it is these films that have gone on to become cinematic classics. In 100 years will anyone still remember mindless X-Men and Transformers movies?
The Pentagon was fully on board with the recent Avengers movie, but pulled the plug on it because it found the portrayal of military hierarchy as “unrealistic”.
Former Hollywood Reporter and pulitzer nominee, David L. Robb, has further exposed the unconstitutional processes involved in the relationship the Pentagon has with Hollywood: