by Sean A. McElwee,
April 29, 2013
Antiwar.com

Robert Downey Jr. greets Col. Jerry Gandy, 95th Air Base Wing commander on the set of Iron Man II, which the Pentagon backed.

The new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will fly its first mission on June 14, 2013, but it won’t be over Afghanistan, Syria or Yemen. It’ll be over the mythical town of Smallville, in the upcoming Man of Steel. In reality, the F-35 may never fly; the program is currently grounded due to flight difficulties after the government poured $400 billion into it. Reuters reports that the final cost of the program might be, sit down… $1.5 trillion dollars.

It’s an open secret in Hollywood that before the MPAA reviews many movies, the Pentagon does. David Robb documents the practice in his book Operation Hollywood. Whenever movie producers want to use Pentagon equipment: helicopters, bases, submarines, etc. they send a request to the Pentagon, along with five copies of the script. The Pentagon replies with proposed changes to the script, which the producer must either accept, or forgo the equipment (which disinclines studios to finance the film, since it entails extra costs). Then, while the movie is shot, a “minder” hangs along, to ensure the director sticks to the script. Final approval comes from Pentagon brass who pre-screen and censor the film.

Man of Steel isn’t the first time that the Pentagon has used Hollywood as an advertising firm. Both Iron Man movies made use of F-22s, in return

The F-35, Wired reports, has thirteen costly flaws, and yet they’ll soar in the movie – including technical failures in Pentagon-funded movies is a no-no. In the 1961 Lassie episode “Timmy and the Martians,” Lassie howls to alert Timmy of a plane crash. In the original episode, once the military has re-assembled the plane they discover that a faulty wing had caused a high-pitched vibration that Lassie had detected. When the producers requested military assistance, the Pentagon declined, on the basis that children should not be exposed to the idea that the military makes faulty equipment.

Read more