Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson will helm Knives Out, a murder/mystery film starring Daniel Craig. Following the release of last year's episode in the Skywalker saga, Johnson has been developing an all-new trilogy set in the galaxy far, far away. However, it's currently unknown when that series will begin production, as Johnson is keen on mapping out the full narrative before moving forward. His pitch to Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy was surprisingly green lit without a story in place, so there's still a lot of work to be done there.
As for Craig, he was all set to reprise the role of suave secret agent James Bond one last time for Danny Boyle's Bond 25, but that project hit a massive roadblock when Boyle left due to creative differences. Despite EON quickly putting together a search for a new filmmaker, the status of Bond 25 remains up in the air. Reports indicated it could be delayed because of the setback, and now it looks like that's exactly what's going to happen since Craig has a new gig.
According to Deadline, Craig has agreed to star in Knives Out, playing a detective tasked with solving a mystery. Johnson, who directs, also wrote the script. It's said to be in the vein of Johnson's earlier films, like Brick and Looper. Distributors are expected to engage in a heated bidding war for the rights during this week's Toronto International Film Festival.
Knives Out is very much on the fast track, with production expected to begin in November. Since Bond 25 was at one point scheduled to start filming this December, EON will likely be forced to move the film from its planned November 2019 release date. Knives Out sounds like it's going to be a "smaller" film when compared to blockbusters like Bond or Star Wars, but filming should still span a few months. EON, obviously, needs to wait until Craig is available again before forging ahead. In a way, this should benefit the Bond producers, as they'll no longer feel the need to rush in order to stay on track. Not only do they need to find a replacement for Boyle, the script he co-wrote with John Hodge is likely off the table.
It's nice to see Johnson was able to squeeze an original movie in between Star Wars installments, and it should be fun to watch Knives Out come together. Ever since making his feature debut with Brick, Johnson has demonstrated a keen ability to put fresh spins on classic genres, often times surprising viewers (for better or worse) with bold and creative choices. Crime is a realm he knows well, and hopefully Johnson is successful in his mission to give audiences "a new Poirot" to enjoy.
We'll keep you updated on Knives Out as more information becomes available.