Talk about meta. You’d think such plots were rare occurrences, but every so often, some scriptwriter manages to get away with writing about them writing about into a film. It’s almost as if they ran out of ideas, looked up and thought: “Hey, how about I write about what’s happening all around me?”

It feels like an inside joke to folk in the film industry, while the rest of the world marvels at the amazing insight they’re getting into the world of movie making. It sounds like banks investing in other banks – oh wait, they already do that. Maybe that’s where the precedent was set.

So here are five famous films that were about film making!

1. Argo

Poster for Argo. Credit: Rotten Tomatoes

Poster for Argo. Credit: Rotten Tomatoes

Besides that infamous line containing “Argo” and a very rude expletive, Argo was also known for garnering many film awards, including Best Picture in 2013. But it was such a silly plot – how could you actually hope to secretly rescue people under the guise something as high profile as a movie production?

Except that it’s really what the CIA did in 1980, and the whole rescue operation even got a cool nickname after that, the “Canadian Caper”. Thank goodness the movie title is a lot cooler, though.

2. Entourage

Adrian Grenier is Vinnie Chase in Entourage. Credit: Ronda Rousey

Adrian Grenier is Vinnie Chase in Entourage. Credit: Ronda Rousey

Based on the popular television series, Entourage was the film finale about the escapades of fictional actor Vince Chase and his buddies, who made up his entourage. It was famous for having real movie stars guest starring as themselves, and the film was no different.

Most amusingly, the television series had a plotline about a (then) fictional Aquaman movie, since it was highly improbable that such a film would be made back then. But come 2018

3. Bewitched

Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell play Samantha and Darrin in Bewitched. Credit: RogerEbert.com

Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell play Samantha and Darrin in Bewitched. Credit: RogerEbert.com

If you’re old enough mature enough to remember Bewitched the television series, then you’ll remember how excited you were to see Samantha the witch wiggle her nose again to cast magic spells in 2005’s Bewitched! Then you found out that the film was very meta – it was about a studio trying to do a remake of the original Bewitched television series, and then accidentally casting a real witch in the role of Samantha.

Sounds complicated? Yeah. It also didn’t too well critically and commercially either.

4. King Kong (2005)

King Kong. Credit: Mana Pop

King Kong. Credit: Mana Pop

King Kong saw beleaguered filmmaker Carl Denham taking extreme risks (like all filmmakers do) for his craft, which resulted in King Kong smashing his way through New York city. The original King Kong‘s Carl Denham was also a filmmaker, but there were fewer movie making elements in that film. In the 2005 remake, Carl’s production crew dies one by one, a fate which is much worse than being overworked and underpaid (like in real film productions).

Fortunately, in real life the most disastrous thing that can happen to a production set is that it catches fire or gets flooded. It managed to receive several Academy Awards, an impressive feat for a monster movie!

5. Hail, Caesar!

Channing Tatum plays Burt Gurney who plays a singing sailor in Hail, Caesar! Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Channing Tatum plays Burt Gurney who plays a singing sailor in Hail, Caesar! Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Hail, Caesar! was conceptualised in 2004, but took over a decade to be made. Perhaps it’s because it spoofed so many elements of the film industry back in the 50s. But hey, they still managed to get Josh Brolin and George Clooney on board for the film, and many other stars to play supporting roles too (like Tilda Swinton, Channing Tatum, and Scarlett Johansson, to name a few).

The film centres around Hollywood fixer (a person who smooths over scandals of the stars) Eddie Mannix, and how he deals with the disappearance one of his biggest stars, played by George Clooney.

Poster for Hail, Caesar! Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Poster for Hail, Caesar! Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

So who does George Clooney play in Hail, Caesar!, and exactly what elements did the Coen Brothers spoof in Hail, Caesar!? You’ve got to catch the film to find out (and it’s a pretty good mystery comedy to boot, too!). Catch Hail, Caesar! now!

Credits: Rotten Tomatoes, Ronda Rousey, RogerEbert.com, Mana Pop, Golden Village Cinemas