Knives Out director Rian Johnson says he'd be open to making sequels starring Daniel Craig's detective. Before he jumps back into the galaxy far, far away with an all-new Star Wars film trilogy, Johnson found time to tackle Knives Out, a twisty whodunnit inspired by the likes of Agatha Christie. Assembling an all-star cast headlined by Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, and many others, Knives Out is poised to be one of the breakout hits of the fall movie season, offering cinephiles a refreshing reprieve from franchise installments.
Holding its premiere at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, Knives Out received enthusiastic raves, with many praising it as a timely and entertaining crowd-pleaser. Knives Out may not be in the Oscar discussion like other festival titles are, but it sounds like audiences are still in for a rip-roaring good time when the film opens in November. Should it prove to be as successful commercially as it is critically, Johnson may be inclined to revisit the universe.
In an interview with UPROXX while at TIFF (where Johnson also talked about Star Wars), the writer/director was asked if he'd have interest in making Knives Out sequels, with Craig returning as detective Benoit Blanc:
I’ll tell you, the truth is I had such a great time working with Daniel Craig and I had so much fun doing this on every level, from writing it to making it. I’ve never really been interested in doing sequels, but this, the idea of doing more of these with Daniel as his character, is not sequels. It’s just what Agatha Christie did. It’s just coming up with a whole new mystery, a whole new location, all new cast, whole new mechanics of the appeal of a mystery and everything. It’d be a blast.
As Johnson implies, another Knives Out movie wouldn't be a sequel in the traditional sense, following Benoit Blanc as he solves a different case. That kind of franchise building is akin to the old James Bond films or the Indiana Jones series, where each entry told its own story with a clear beginning, middle, and end. In a way, that model is very liberating for a filmmaker, since there's less of an onus on maintaining continuity than there is on telling a good story. From the sound of things, Knives Out won't need a sequel to wrap up any dangling threads, but if the inspiration strikes, Johnson is game to bring back his intrepid detective for a new mystery. Perhaps Benoit Blanc films could be fun palate cleansers for Johnson in between Star Wars entires.
Of course, there's still a long way to go before another Knives Out movie is made. First and foremost, the one coming out in a couple of months needs to be a box office hit in order to give the studio financial incentive for green lighting a followup. Knives Out's box office will be interesting to keep tabs on; it's opening over a competitive Thanksgiving frame close to the debuts of films like Frozen 2 and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Ideally, Knives Out will be able to emerge as a compelling counter-programming option and find success at the theater. The initial word-of-mouth will certainly help in that regard, so fingers crossed Johnson has another winner here.
- Knives Out (2019) release date: Nov 27, 2019