The cast for Rian Johnson's Knives Out continues to grow, as Blade Runner 2049 standout Ana De Armas joins the ensemble. Johnson is actively developing an all-new film trilogy in the Star Wars franchise, but before he returns to the galaxy far, far away, he's going back to his roots with this Agatha Christie-inspired murder/mystery, which will provide a new spin on the classic whodunit formula. The project came together very quickly during this year's Toronto International Film Festival, with Daniel Craig signing on to star.
Since then, Johnson has recruited a murderers row of talent. Joining Craig will be Captain America himself, Chris Evans, as well as Sorry to Bother You's Lakeith Stanfield and Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon. There's no denying this group is great, but the cast was obviously sans actresses up until this point. With the production start date fast approaching, it looks like Johnson has found his female lead.
Deadline reports De Armas has joined Knives Out in an undisclosed role. While she has a number of credits on her filmography, she is perhaps best known for her scene-stealing turn in Denis Villeneuve's Blade Runner 2049, where she played Agent K's A.I. girlfriend, Joi.
With so much about Knives Out unknown at this point in time, it's difficult to say exactly how De Armas' character will fit into the narrative. That being said, since the film is drawing from film noir and the mystery genre, it's reasonable to assume she will be the movie's femme fatale. It'll be interesting to see if she's simply a victim of circumstance or if there's more to her than meets the eye. In the past, Johnson has demonstrated an ability to write fascinating female roles (see: Emily Blunt in Looper, the women of The Last Jedi), so odds are De Armas will have a substantial part to explore. 2019 is shaping up to be a big year for the up-and-coming actress, who also has a role in Danny Boyle's upcoming untitled musical comedy.
Regardless of how one felt about The Last Jedi, Knives Out looks to be one of 2019's most intriguing non-franchise films. Johnson has already worked in a variety of genres throughout his career, bringing a unique voice and perspective to each one. Whether he's having high school students pay homage to classical film noir or deconstructing the mythology of a pop culture touchstone, his films are always engaging watches. How he approaches Knives Out remains to be seen, but he'll likely be as ambitious as he's always been and work hard to make it stand out.