What do you do after you make a Star Wars movie? For writer/director Rian Johnson, the answer is apparently “make a murder mystery.”
Following the divisive response to his 2017 release Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Johnson turned his attention to Knives Out. A “whodunnit” in the vein of an Agatha Christie novel, the film centers on the death of a wealthy family’s patriarch (Christopher Plummer).
Released on Nov. 27, 2019, Knives Out turned out to be a huge hit. Now Lionsgate — the studio behind the movie — is eager for a sequel. As the movie continues its box office run, let’s discuss its success and what we know about the sequel so far.
‘Knives Out 2’ isn’t official just yet
With a cast led by Daniel Craig and Chris Evans, Knives Out had all the makings of a sleeper hit. But no one saw the $40 million production going on to earn — as of this writing — $248 million worldwide. Moreover, Knives Out is expected to surpass Once Upon a Time in Hollywood as the second highest-grossing original film of 2019, following Us.
Indeed, the film’s positive word-of-mouth and unanimous critical praise have made Knives Out a hit with both moviegoers and critics alike. The film has even been garnering some major awards consideration this season, including three Golden Globe nods and possible Oscar nominations. As Johnson’s follow-up to The Last Jedi, Knives Out confirms his status as an A-list filmmaker.
While Lionsgate hasn’t given the green light to a Knives Out sequel, that merely seems like a formality at this point. The film’s box office performance and glowing reception — plus its built-in franchise potential — make it an easy one to put into development sooner rather than later.
Rian Johnson confirmed a ‘Knives Out’ sequel is coming
Likely, the biggest reason Lionsgate hasn’t gone ahead and put Knives Out 2 on its schedule is the lack of a script. Thankfully, Johnson has already confirmed, via The Hollywood Reporter, he is working on cracking a story for a follow-up. In fact, he was talking up the potential for more stories within this world before Knives Out even hit theaters.
It’s hard to imagine a sequel without Johnson writing and directing. The film’s self-aware yet reverent style is so distinctly his own, after all. By the sounds of it, he’s just as excited to get started on the project as we are to see it. According to his THR comments, Johnson hopes to start making the Knives Out sequel sometime in the next year.
Seeing how successful the first film has been, Johnson should have no trouble assembling another stellar ensemble cast for the follow-up. In addition to Craig and Evans, Knives Out stars Jamie Lee Curtis, Ana de Armas, Michael Shannon, Toni Collette, Don Johnson, and Katherine Langford.
Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc will return
Given the nature of the storytelling, we don’t expect most of those actors to reprise their roles for the sequel. But fear not, Knives Out fans, Johnson is absolutely counting on Craig to anchor the burgeoning franchise. The actor delivered a charming, hilarious performance as Southern-fried detective Benoit Blanc.
For Craig, the role also offers a welcome change of pace from the more stoic James Bond, a role he’ll play one last time in 2020’s No Time to Die. Plus, since Blanc is inspired by Christie’s Hercule Poirot, it stands to reason he would headline his own series of Poirot-esque mysteries.
At this early stage, we have no clue what kind of mystery Blanc will be solving the second time around. But we’re betting it will involve a ton of A-list names in front of the camera. Likewise, we expect Johnson will be sharpening his wit and expert narrative instinct for the much-anticipated Knives Out sequel. Stay tuned for more details as the film moves forward.
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