Blockbusters are big money, and 2017 counts Wonder Woman and Dunkirk as two of this summer’s biggest hits. Unfortunately, that success means that we’re all helping to further line the pockets of the Koch brothers.
The Hollywood Reporter reports that Charles G. Koch and David H. Koch have been silent investors at Warner Bros. for the last four years. It was previously revealed that the Trump administration’s Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin is partially responsible for funding Wonder Woman, as well as the studio’s other comic hero hits, like Suicide Squad; Mnuchin has since lured other billionaires into the lucrative field of mainstream movie-making.
According to THR’s sources, the Kochs’ stake in the Mnuchin-owned production company RatPac-Dune Entertainment is worth tens of millions of dollars. (Bill Gates is also an investor.) In addition to Dunkirk and Wonder Woman, the Kochs have sunk money sunk into the soon-to-be released Ready Player One, directed by Steven Spielberg. RatPac-Dune refused to comment on the story, but the Kochs denied it entirely:
A spokesperson for Koch Industries says, “Charles Koch, David Koch and Koch Industries do not have any involvement with this investment.”
Though it feels like insult to injury that ultra-conservative, Tea Party-funding gazillionaires would make profit specifically over a movie that has given so many women a hero, it’s unlikely that they particularly know or care about which movies their money is going to, as long as there’s a return:
Unlike Mnuchin, you won’t see the trio of uber-billionaires listed as executive producers on any of the films they’ve backed. As for why the Kochs and Gates have kept their involvement secret, a source familiar with the deal says it’s simple. “They’re in it to make money. They’re not in it for the recognition,” says the source.
And recognition would probably be bad for business, since most people celebrating the feminist message of an ass-kicking woman superhero probably will not be psyched to know how she afforded that golden lasso.