knives out sequel

Update: Deadline reports that today, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer confirmed that a Knives Out sequel is officially moving forward, and he hinted that, according to the outlet, “a production start for a follow-up…is imminent.” That aligns with Johnson’s previously-stated desire to get rolling on a sequel quickly. Our original report from January 6 continues.

Daniel Craig will be back on the case, and this time his knives are out. The actor is set to reprise his role as the Southern detective Benoit Blanc in a Knives Out sequel, which director Rian Johnson is currently developing under Lionsgate. The studio is reportedly seeing franchise opportunities after the Rian Johnson whodunit’s immense holiday box office success.

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Johnson is developing a Knives Out sequel, with Craig on board to reprise his role as the intrepid detective Benoit Blanc. Per THR:

“Johnson told The Hollywood Reporter at Lionsgate’s pre-Golden Globes party on Saturday night that he was already developing a sequel centered on Daniel Craig’s Southern detective Benoit Blanc investigating a new case. The filmmaker added that he was eager to make the pic quickly, ideally in the next year.”

“Daniel [Craig] had so much fun doing it, and he wants to do more,” Johnson’s producing partner Ram Bergman added.

While Lionsgate has not officially greenlit a Knives Out sequel, the news would be unsurprising given the film’s $246 million worldwide box office haul — a rare triumph for original movies in a theater landscape dominated by sequels and remakes. Of course, there is an air of irony in turning one of the few successful original films of the year into a franchise, but Knives Out is uniquely suited to creating a series of mostly-unrelated stories.

Inspired by the Agatha Christie murder mysteries (with Craig’s Benoit Blanc a clear homage to the writer’s Hercule Poirot), succeeding Knives Out sequels only need to bring back Craig’s Benoit Blanc, and perhaps LaKeith Stanfield’s police detective, to solve new, baffling cases involving more star-studded casts. The beauty of Knives Out was that it took a familiar structure and familiar stars, and upended our expectations while telling a painfully timely story. I don’t doubt that Johnson can do it again, and the possibilities of new stars that he could bring on board (cast Kelly Marie Tran!) is endlessly exciting. And Craig will soon have his schedule wide open with his upcoming swan song as James Bond in No Time to Die. And we all know how much he loves doing that deep fried Southern accent. But maybe in the sequels, we could see him putting on totally different, increasingly ridiculous accents with no explanation? It’s your move, Rian.

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