Apple products have made appearances in some of Hollywood's biggest blockbusters but the tech giant has some ridiculous rules that filmmakers need to abide by if they want to use its products in movies. "Knives Out" and "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" director Rian Johnson revealed in a recent interview the lengths to which Apple goes to protect the identity of its brand.

Villains can't use iPhones in movies

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Liam Neeson in a screen grab from the trailer of the 2018 film, "The Commuter" Lionsgate Movies / YouTube

In a Vanity Fair video breaking down a scene from his most recent movie, the filmmaker said Apple won't allow movie studios to let their films' villains use iPhones.

"I don't know if I should say this or not," the director said. "Not because it's lascivious or something, but because it's gonna screw me on the next mystery movie that I write. But forget it, I'll say it, it's very interesting. Apple, they let you use iPhones in movies—but, and this is very pivotal, if you're ever watching a mystery movie, bad guys cannot have iPhones on camera."

If what Johnson is saying turns out to be true then every time you see someone using an Android device in a murder mystery flick, you need to start getting suspicious, as Johnson jokingly mentions in the interview. "Oh no, every single filmmaker that has a bad guy in their movie that's supposed to be a secret wants to murder me right now," he quipped.

Apple's product placement strategy

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An attendee checks out a new iPhone X during an Apple launch event in Cupertino, California, US September 12, 2017 Stephen Lam/Reuters

Apple products have been known to dominate product placement in Hollywood movies with appearances in a long list of popular TV shows and films, including "Sex and the City," "Modern Family" "Mission: Impossible," "Legally Blonde" and more recently in the Apple TV Plus series "The Morning Show."

Many movies and TV shows use paid product placements for funding. In return, companies not only get their products in the public eye but often in the form of an illusionary, idealized lifestyle. Apple relies heavily on product placement but doesn't pay for its products being featured on screen. The company instead pays for it in kind instead of money by providing any hardware as long as its products are shown in a positive light.