For a long while whenever somebody mentioned the word “murder” in relation to Rian Johnson, it was about how the writer/director had supposedly murdered their favourite sci-fi franchise. However, the acclaimed filmmaker showed off much different and arguably superior homicidal skills last year with the utterly brilliant Agatha Christie-inspired murder mystery Knives Out!
Not only was this masterpiece whodunnit a hit with critics, but it’s also enamoured audiences around the world. If you checked out yesterday’s US box office report, you may have noticed that Knives Out had the smallest week-to-week drop percentage by far and has been that way nearly every week since it released a month and a half ago. That consistency has propelled Johnson’s film to just under $250 million worldwide off a budget of just $40 million, becoming the second-most successful non-franchise/non-sequel release of 2019. With numbers and praise like that, it should come as no surprise then that Johnson is now working on a sequel.
THR broke the news, having chatted to Johnson himself at the pre-Golden Globes party where the filmmaker confirmed that he was in early development on a follow-up. With the case of Harland Thrombey’s murder all wrapped up, don’t expect the star-studded cast who played the dysfunctional family to return. Who will be back though will be Daniel Craig’s southern-fried, “last of the gentlemen detectives”, Benoit Blanc.
Johnson had previously stated how Craig had a blast playing against his stoic James Bond typecasting with the ridiculously accented and donut hole-obsessed private eye, and Johnson’s producing partner Ram Bergman confirmed to THR that “Daniel had so much fun doing it, and he wants to do more.” It’s still very early days though as Johnson will need to still crack the script for Blanc’s next case, and Lionsgate and production company MRC are yet to officially greenlight it. However, Lionsgate chairman Joe Drake told THR at the Golden Globes party that he was eager to read whatever Johnson came up with.
Knives Out may have walked away from the Globes empty-handed (it was nominated for Best Motion Picture – Musical/Comedy, with Best Actor and Best Actress nominations for Craig and breakout co-star Ana de Armas), but it’s already won a legion of fans. With Johnson’s reported development of a new Star Wars trilogy sounding more and more iffy recently, the filmmaker should maybe just focus all his energy on a new and very different franchise in our own galaxy.
Last Updated: January 7, 2020