Yesterday, we learned that Lionsgate was giving a green light to a new Knives Out movie with Rian Johnson set to write and direct. Details on the sequel are still scarce since Johnson hasn’t even started writing it yet. However, he went on The Jess Cagle Show and talked about how fans can expect everything to be different other than the return of Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc.
Johnson explained that the new film will have a different cast, different setting, and an entirely new mystery. He also explained that like the Agatha Christie books from which he drew inspiration, the mystery can also find a new subgenre similar to how And Then There Were None is like a slasher and The ABC Murders is like a serial killer story.
If you’re worried this may be too different from Knives Out, that’s kind of the point. As Johnson explains, these kinds of stories provide a lot of freedom to explore different themes, and more importantly, you don’t want to get caught up in the “cleverness” of the mystery. He notes that with Knives Out, the solution to the whodunit isn’t the conclusion of the picture; the conclusion of the picture deals with Marta (Ana de Armas). What’s important isn’t trying to outwit the audience with some convoluted plotting, but to give a satisfying conclusion to your protagonist.
Personally, I’m curious to see Johnson further define was a “Knives Out” movie is beyond just Benoit Blanc. Will they have a comic tone? Will they have gorgeous production design? It’s one thing to be inspired by the work of Agatha Christie and see how she jumped across mystery sub-genres, but I’m eager to see Johnson start leaving his own mark on the mystery genre, and I hope we’ll see the Knives Out sequel sooner rather than later.