Can We Safely Assume Knives Out 2 Won't Be Called Knives Out 2?

What a time to be alive. Kenneth Branagh is about to unleash the next Hercule Poirot movie on us with "Death on the Nile," Saoirse Ronan and Sam Rockwell are teaming up to solve a brazen killing on a Hollywood movie set in "See How They Run," and "Knives Out" will soon become a smash-hit original franchise with this year's release of Rian Johnson's sequel. The murder-mystery is back, baby! Where are my "Encyclopedia Brown" and "Hardy Boys" stans at?

Earlier today, Netflix dropped their exciting preview of 2022 movie releases on us, which we covered here. Some of the many titles featured in the sizzle reel included Guillermo del Toro's stop-motion animated film "Pinocchio," a sequel to the Millie Bobby Brown and Henry Cavill-starring "Enola Holmes," the Russo brothers-directed "The Gray Man," and ... a certain movie that has, apparently, been given the placeholder title of "Knives Out 2." At least, we hope it's a placeholder. 

Now, if there are any pet peeves I've openly admitted to obsessing over in the past, it has to be the scourge of referring to movie or television productions by franchise titles that really don't make sense beyond the original story. In other words, get off my lawn and come up with some new, creative names instead of blatantly trying to bank on brand recognition! That's precisely the kind of mindset that leads to unholy, word-salad abominations like "Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw," after all.

I've been hoping that this new, original franchise that began with 2019's "Knives Out" would avoid such a fate, with the highly-anticipated sequel earning its own separate title altogether that would actually reflect its unique storyline. Like countless novels by murder-mystery novelist extraordinaire Agatha Christie, the star of the show may appear to be the brilliant detective who solves every mystery and links each disparate story together — the absurdly-mustached Hercule Poirot in Christie's books and Daniel Craig's absurdly-accented Benoit Blanc in Rian Johnson's movies — but, in actuality, the distinct settings and murder cases tend to provide the actual name of each installment. "Knives Out," to state the obvious, perfectly captures the trademark knife wheel at the Thrombey estate while also hinting at the backstabbing and infighting family members who become murder suspects.

So how could the sequel tell a new story altogether and still be called "Knives Out 2"? Reader, we have thoughts.

Why Knives Out 2 Makes No Damn Sense: Welcome to my TED Talk

Folks, we may have a mystery on our hands.

Yes, Netflix's actual movie preview features a "Knives Out 2" title card ... but let's think this through like Benoit Blanc. This was likely just meant to properly orient viewers, many of whom may have otherwise assumed that the stunning Greek locale and Daniel Craig in the foreground somehow meant that James Bond was coming to Netflix. Further bolstering this theory is the fact that writer/director Rian Johnson himself went out of his way to promote this video — but without using that specific title. Soon after the official Netflix account released their video, the active and engaging filmmaker took to Twitter so he could geek out along with the rest of us over our first look at the upcoming sequel. You'll notice the very precise way he phrases his tweet, however: "Just a tiny glimpse of the next Benoit Blanc mystery, much MUCH much more to come..."

Agatha Christie herself would be proud of this attempt at wordplay and (harmless) subterfuge.

Honestly, as much as I clowned on "Fast & Furious Presents" earlier, and even though Johnson may not have given anything away here, I'd be okay with the sequel directly incorporating "A Benoic Blanc Mystery" somewhere into the title. Craig's hilarious take on the character and Johnson's whip-smart writing quickly turned the quirky detective into a household name. This would give audiences plenty of notice that the sequel (and whatever title it ultimately takes) is, in fact, a follow-up to "Knives Out."

As for that mysterious title, Agatha Christie herself provides no shortage of inspiration. How cool does her very first Poirot novel, "The Mysterious Affair at Styles," sound? Or the famously evocative "Murder on the Orient Express"? And don't even get me started on her non-Poirot mystery, "And Then There Were None."

Of course, all this presupposes that Benoit Blanc won't somehow manage to stumble into another inexplicably knife-centric murder, which would actually justify the "Knives Out" title convention. How long could that go on, though? Is the detective cursed to get mixed up in knifings for however long this franchise lasts? Is this meta-commentary on a certain other franchise eating its own tail? The possibilities!

"Knives Out 2," which we're pretty sure won't be called "Knives Out 2," will release on Netflix sometime in 2022.