On July 2, Julian Bass, a previously unknown 20-year-old and Georgia State University theater major posted a cute, if innocuous, and impressive video on TikTok. The video featured him cosplaying as Disney superheroes through the 20-second clip and using superior VFX and editing skills to get it done. Bass, starting with a rendition of a Jedi Knight, and then becoming Ben 10 and Spiderman, posted a video set to Harry Styles’ “Watermelon Sugar” and the video quickly went viral. By Thursday, it had been viewed 10 million times, retweeted 300,000 times, and had received over 650,000 million likes.
But beyond anonymous fanfare on the internet, the video also attracted the attention of some bigwigs in Disney and in Hollywood. While Bass jokingly added a caption onto the video when he posted it on Twitter — “if y’all can retweet this enough times that Disney calls, that’d be greatly appreciated,” according to The Hollywood Reporter, he hardly expected that would actually happen. “I jokingly asked for Disney and got the chairman himself,” Bass told THR.
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
Bass got the attention of Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, Zach Braff (who implored Gunn to hire Bass), MSNBC host Joy Reid, the Sony studio Twitter account, Mark Hamill, The Lonely Island guys, and, perhaps most impressively, the big man at Disney himself: Bob Iger, who tweeted at him “The world’s gonna know your name!!!”
Since the video swept the internet, Bass has also had interviews with the likes of NPR and other media outlets, and messages from people like Louis D’Esposito, a co-president from Marvel. “Everyone you can think of has been just blowing up my phone recently and I just need to sort of mitigate how to respond to everybody and make sure I can get these opportunities and seize these opportunities in the best way possible,” Bass told NPR about his unexpected blow-up. Many fans have called for him to be cast as Miles Morales, should Sony ever decide to do a live-action version of Into the Spider-Verse or a Spider-Man movie that would feature Morales rather than Peter Parker.
While Bass is simply navigating his viral fame right now, it’s really fun to see something as simple as a 20 second video lead to so much opportunity for him.