United 93 was the first and – to date – the only major movie to depict what happened in the skies over the US on the morning of the 9/11 attacks. The film-makers intended it to be as accurate and realistic as possible, so they reached out to the Pentagon and the US Air Force in particular for assistance. However, if anything this contributed to the numerous inaccuracies and problems with the narrative in the movie, as it contains a blend of two different stories told by the Pentagon about their responses on 9/11.
The Department of Defense is the government agency with the largest and most influential operations in Hollywood. But to how many films have they provided production assistance? How many movies have they supported? In this episode we explore the answer to this question, why it is so difficult to answer conclusively and why this matters.
Despite only producing 4 films so far the Transformers series is already one of the top 10 movie series of all time. In a paradox that encapsulates much of Hollywood, it appears that the worse the Transformers films get the better they do at the box office. These production assistance agreements shed some light on how, just like the early films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the first three Transformers films benefited from large scale support from the Pentagon.
In less than 10 years Marvel has created the biggest money-making film franchise of all time with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, this probably wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the Pentagon. In this episode we examine the rise of the MCU, the Pentagon’s involvement, and the fallout of their disagreements when making The Avengers. We round off looking at the creative implications of the cinematic universe becoming the new model for Hollywood.