One TikTok video may have put college student Julian Bass on the path to Hollywood.
On Thursday, July 2, the 20-year-old theater major uploaded a montage where, using impressive visual effects, he transformed himself into three of his favorite heroes: a lightsaber-wielding Jedi, the titular character from animated series Ben 10, and web-slinger Miles Morales. He then cross-posted the video from TikTok to Twitter, where he captioned it with a request for followers to help him get it in front of Disney.
if y’all can retweet this enough times that Disney calls, that’d be greatly appreciated pic.twitter.com/GrKlIRxg3J
— Julian Bass (@thejulianbass) July 2, 2020
The internet apparently took Bass’ ask seriously. He told The Hollywood Reporter that by Thursday night, his video had racked up 10 million views and more than 300,000 retweets. It didn’t take long for that attention (and, as THR points out, lots of @Disney mentions from Bass’ supporters) to catch the eye of former Disney CEO/current chair Bob Iger.
“The world’s gonna know your name!” Iger tweeted to Bass.
This is the beginning!!!
— Julian Bass (@thejulianbass) July 3, 2020
A number of other industry figures responded to Bass’ video, including Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, Into the Spider-Verse director Peter Ramsey, Ben 10 voice actress Tara Strong, Andy Samberg’s comedy trio The Lonely Island (which said it had forwarded Bass’ video to execs at Disney and VFX studio Industrial Light & Magic), and Scrubs star Zach Braff.
Hire this man, Gunn!
— Zach Braff (@zachbraff) July 3, 2020
— tara strong (@tarastrong) July 2, 2020
— Casey Neistat (@Casey) July 3, 2020
Bass told THR that, over the weekend, several Hollywood execs had reached out to him privately, and that “there’s most definitely going to be some discussions about what can be done going forward.” He also jokingly noted that many people who responded to his video pointed out he’d make a good live-action Spider-Man: “Seems like 8 million people want me to be Miles Morales!”
For now, Bass is heading into his third year at Georgia State University, and apparently will keep at his day job: editing TikTok content. He was previously working as a motion designer and video editor for a local studio, but quit in favor of working on videos for TikTokers because “even small TikTok promos were paying more,” he told THR.
At press time, Bass’ video is up to 21.9 million views, 570K retweets, and 1.4 million likes on Twitter (where he now has 60.6K followers), plus 5 million views and 1.1 million likes on TikTok (810K followers).