After the wild success of Rian Johnson’s Knives Out in 2019, the murder mystery hit is set to receive a follow-up with the curiously titled Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.
Johnson, who reprises his duties as writer-director once more, kicked off the announcement with mentions of Agatha Christie, the seminal British detective novelist who made Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot famous names in the world of mystery fiction. Johnson’s character Benoit Blanc — portrayed masterfully by ex-Bond man Daniel Craig — seems set to join the ranks of these iconic characters, just over a century after they were first imagined.
“It wasn’t just settings or murder methods, she was constantly stretching the genre conceptually,” gushed Johnson in a series of tweets. “Under the umbrella of the whodunnit she wrote spy thrillers, proto-slasher horrors, serial killer hunts, gothic romances, psychological character studies, glam travelogues.”
It’s curious to see Johnson so enamored with his obvious inspiration, when his leading man Craig feels the same way about him. In a late 2021 chat with Empire, the actor shared his enthusiasm and respect for one of contemporary cinema’s most fun, fresh new scriptwriters. (Excluding The Last Jedi, perhaps.)
“I’m so lucky to have Rian in my life,” Craig said. “He’s such a great writer. That script arrived and I was literally like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ I couldn’t believe that he wanted me to play it. I was going, ‘It says Southern accent you went here. Really?’ And he’s like, ‘Yeah?’ We’ve just finished the second one, literally weeks ago.
They’ve just wrapped up in Serbia. Dare I say it’s better? We’ll see. I don’t want to tempt fate. It’s different, and that’s the amazing thing. It’s still a Benoit Blanc mystery, but it’s very different. I’m very excited about it.”
Knives Out itself refers to a classic Radiohead tune. For the sequel, some astute Beatles fans among you may have already spotted the connection; Glass Onion happens to be a Lennon-McCartney number from The White Album that released in 1968.
The song itself is a play on the unusual enthusiasm of Beatles fans when it came to deciphering ‘secret messages’ within their lyrics — a phenomenon that caused Lennon a great deal of irritation. He wrote the song largely for his own amusement, intending to mislead and confuse the group’s superfans, with plenty of references to past hits such as Strawberry Fields Forever, I Am the Walrus, Lady Madonna, and more.
“I threw the line in — ’the Walrus was Paul’ — just to confuse everybody a bit more. It could have been ‘the fox terrier is Paul.’ I mean, it’s just a bit of poetry. I was having a laugh because there’d been so much gobbledygook about Pepper—play it backwards and you stand on your head and all that,” Lennon said.
While the song does not reference anything related to murder mysteries, it constantly repeats the line, ‘Looking through the glass onion.’ This could mean any number of things in Rian Johnson’s mind, but perhaps there’s an element of the story that involves searching for things that aren’t really present – whatever’s in store, we know that Benoit Blanc will make the hunt for the truth as entertaining as possible.
Knives Out also drew a lot of attention for being the first film Chris Evans worked in, immediately after finishing up his massively popular role as Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
While Evans’ character Ransom was revealed to be the villain behind the last film, we can’t have a murder mystery without a murderer. So fans have spent quite some time guessing who Glass Onion’s guilty part will be. While we know the setting will be a coastal affair in the Mediterranean, it’s interesting to see that Johnson has called upon further MCU stars to join his next project.
Guardians of the Galaxy’s Dave Bautista, WandaVision’s Kathryn Hahn, Iron Fist’s Jessica Henwick, and The Incredible Hulk’s Edward Norton will all play leading roles.
While we don’t know enough about the plot to make an educated guess, Kathryn Hahn’s previous shenanigans as the main baddie in Wandavision will leave plenty of fans keeping a close eye on her through the movie.
“It took me back to my roots because it really did feel like an old school ensemble,” she said to Entertainment Weekly about filming the sequel. “It really felt a lot like my class at Yale. I had the same kind of fond feelings of love and tenderness towards everybody.”
Glass Onion will debut on Netflix late this year.
(Featured Image Credits: Netflix)