Duncan Jones’ MUTE Is Gonna Make It Rain Hoffs

The director's vision of the future looks very bleak indeed.

This past November I was privileged to head to Berlin to visit the set of Duncan Jones’ new film Mute. Jones’ 2009 debut feature Moon is one of the best science-fiction films of this century; it does not feel hyperbolic to say it's a legitimate masterpiece. The fact that he’s finally getting to make his dream project (Mute was written before Moon), and that it's set in the same continuity as his first movie, makes me happy for both of us. Without reservation, this is my most anticipated film of the year.

I’ll be sharing details from that set visit in the coming weeks and months leading up to Mute's premiere on Netflix (date TBA). And we'll have plenty of time to talk about the film's plot and characters, which Jones & Co. have described here and there as something like a futuristic Casablanca. But today I want to share a detail from the set - one that paints a very grim view of future Berlin. Inside the Foreign Dreams nightclub (you’ve seen the exterior of this club in last week’s pics - it’s where Alexander Skarsgård’s character works as a bartender), BMD was shown the club owner’s office, and on his desk I saw a chilling vision of tomorrow.

That’s right: 40 years down the road, not only has the Deutschmark returned to supplant the Euro (possible long-term fallout from Brexit?), but on the ten is none other than David Hasselhoff.

It was a delightful bit of surreal detail. I saw stacks of currency that looked and felt real to the touch, probably on screen for no more than a few fuzzy frames, but really helping sell this world (the Moonverse? Duncanverse?) as a tangible place. In addition to Hasselhoff on the ten (a denomination colloquially referred to by crew members as a “Hoff”), the film’s props department has put Karl Marx on the 500, German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the 100, and iconic supermodel Claudia Schiffer on the 20. See if you can identify the other notable Germans found on the in-film currency.

Hilariously, crew members on set indicated that the “Hoffs” and “Schiffs” needed to be monitored, as extras were making off with the money. (Can you blame them?) As such, after allowing me a brief photo op with a Hoff, the bill was spirited away and placed back under lock and key.

The Mute sets we were shown were packed with this kind of detail - there's a hell of a coffee table book waiting to be made here. If you're into this sort of thing, we'll be bringing you more soon.