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In the movie Idiocracy (2006), several real-life name brands are made fun of. The three I remember:

  • Starbucks gives hand jobs
  • Fuddruckers changes its name to "Buttf***ers"
  • Carl's Jr. changes its slogan from "Don't bother me, I'm eating" to "F**k you! I'm eating."

Did the makers of Idiocracy make any effort to get permission to use these brand names? If not, have any of these companies expressed disapproval?

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up vote 14 down vote accepted

First of all, the production staff lawyered up real well. From a Slashfilm interview with Mike Judge:

And as far as the products stuff, I remember writing it and going, “Oh man, there’s no way we’re going to clear all of this stuff.” And I had a meeting with the lawyers, who were actually really cool and really liked the script. [laughs] And in the Beavis & Butt-Head movie I couldn’t even have a bottle that was shaped like a Jack Daniel’s bottle. I couldn’t have, there was more, it was just ridiculous on that [movie].

But on Idiocracy, when we were talking about Starbucks, the lawyers said, “Well, it would help if you didn’t pick on just one company and if you did more than one.” So, [laughs] I was like okay, and that’s why there’s the whole red light district with Starbucks and there’s an H&R Block with “Tax Return and Relief,” and all of that. But the other stuff, Carl Jr’s, that was all in the script, and I couldn’t believe it all cleared.

Second, it wasn't high profile enough to cause the companies any big issues (from the same interview):

At one point, [Fox] told me, “Hey, it’s not testing well, we’re not going to spend a lot of money promoting it.”

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