After splitting fans with one of the most divisive Star Wars films of all time, Rian Johnson won the world back all over again thanks to his masterful and inventive murder mystery film Knives Out. It was not only a fun reimagining of the typical “whodunnit” plot device, but featured inventive and memorable characters in a topsy-turvy plot that kept you guessing all the way to the end credits.
It was one of the most fun films shown in recent memory at the cinema and perhaps to the surprise of no one it ended up grossing over $300 million at the box office. Naturally, Knives Out will be getting a sequel which will once again feature Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc, but this time with another new set of characters and a different murder to solve. So where does Johnson go to from here given how well executed that first film was, without retreading the same formula to make it as unpredictable as possible? Well, much like the first film was inspired by Agatha Christie’s amazing writing, Johnson is going to take inspiration from more of her novels and other such writers to keep the sequel as fresh as possible, as he revealed in a recent appearance on the Lionsgate Unlocked podcast:
The tropes of the genre, there’s a lot of different modes in which the genre operates. And there’s a lot of modes that I love. The ABC Murders is a much different type of book than The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, which is much different And Then There Were None…, which is much different than, you know, N or M? There’s a lot of different ways… Agatha Christie had to keep herself fresh with each book. And then you get into the locked door puzzle boxes of John Dixon Carr. It’s fertile ground to dig in. We’ve, so far, with Knives Out only done one little corner of the garden, so it’s going to be fun to wander out, you know…
… For me, part of the challenge that’s fun is ‘how do you fit this into a movie?’ A lot of the structure of Knives Out in terms of just how the basic thing works was calculating how do I translate the experience of a great mystery novel into a two-hour movie.
The idea for Johnson is to create a film that can “be totally different from Knives Out in a lot of ways, but hopefully, it will have the same essence of the stuff I love.” If anything, Johnson showed that it is possible to still find innovation in a genre that has been around since the beginning of the film genre and I look forward to seeing what he can come up with next. There is definitely a lot of different plot devices and techniques to draw inspiration from, which if he can wrap up with the same sort of innovative characters should ensure that the sequel is every bit the winner that this first film was.
Last Updated: March 3, 2020