Michael Shannon is the latest big-name character actor to enter talks for a role in Rian Johnson's upcoming murder mystery, Knives Out. The project is being both written and directed by Johnson and has been described as an Agatha Christie-style modern whodunit. It's not clear yet whether Shannon is up to play more of a hero or villain in the film.
Shannon, of course, has a history of playing antagonistic yet oddly compelling characters on the big screen, with roles like General Zod from Zack Snyder's Man of Steel and the candy-chomping Richard Strickland from Guillermo del Toro's Best Picture-winner, The Shape of Water, under his belt. The Oscar-nominee has been keeping rather busy of late, having already appeared in the Afghanistan war drama 12 Strong, HBO's Fahrenheit 451 TV movie and the small screen miniseries Waco this year alone. He's clearly not interested in slowing down just yet either, seeing as Knives Out is slated to begin filming this November.
According to Variety, Shannon is now in active talks to join the Knives Out cast ahead of the start of production next month. The film's other cast members so far include James Bond actor Daniel Craig and Captain America star Chris Evans, as well as Sorry to Bother You veteran Lakeith Stanfield. For the time being, however, their respective roles in the movie are being kept firmly under-wraps.
For Johnson, Knives Out marks a return to the type of original genre fare that he made his name on, before he stepped into the big-budget franchise arena for the first time on last year's Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Prior to that, the filmmaker was known for putting an idiosyncratic spin on the hard-boiled detective narrative with his high school-set directorial debut on Brick and crafting similarly unconventional takes on the con artist and sci-fi/time-travel genres with the movies The Brothers Bloom and Looper, respectively. It's probably safe to assume that, much like those films, Knives Out will take something of an eccentric approach to the whodunit genre.
Actors like Shannon and Stanfield in particular are far from strangers to offbeat material and ought to feel all the more home in the world of Knives Out for it. Moreover, the film may allow Johnson the chance to recharge his batteries a bit before he returns to a galaxy far, far away again for the first entry in his planned Star Wars movie trilogy sometime in the next year or two. All in all, Knives Out continues to sound like a promising venture and is shaping up to be one of the more intriguing non-franchise offerings in the pipeline for 2019.
We will let you know when Knives Out gets an official release date.