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Both Daniel Craig and Rian Johnson Confirm the Bright Future of ‘Knives Out’ Franchise

Daniel Craig in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Knives Out premiered in 2019 after director and screenwriter Rian Johnson first conceived the idea for the film back in 2005. However, other commitments, including his work on the films Looper and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, resulted in the film not officially becoming a reality for over a decade. Knives Out wasn’t officially announced until 2018, but it proved to be worth the wait, enjoying widespread critical acclaim upon its debut in 2019.

Knives Out was a box office success, and received rave reviews from critics, attaining a nearly perfect 97% on Rotten Tomatoes. The film introduced a detective, or gentleman sleuth, to rival Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot, in Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc. Additionally, Knives Out was a testimant to the appeal of an eccentric, abstract, and deeply flawed ensemble cast. Plus, the star-studded nature of the cast and the bevvy of A-list actors who signed on to the film also held its own appeal.

Needless to say, Knives Out was a raging success, so much so that Netflix paid a hefty sum of over $450 million for the rights to the film and set out to make it into a franchise. Here’s how many Knives Out films there are so far and how many there are anticipated to be.

1. Knives Out

Knives out cast
(Lionsgate)

First of all, we have Knives Out which, as said above, was the 2019 film that started it all. The film follows Detective Blanc as he investigates the suspicious death of Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), a wealthy novelist discovered dead shortly after his 85th birthday. Due to his fortune, nearly every member of Harlan’s greedy family is desperate for his inheritance and, therefore, a suspect. Fortunately, the esteemed private detective, Blanc, has been anonymously hired to probe the murder and soon gets to the bottom of the family drama and murder mystery.

2. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

The main cast of Netflix's 'Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery' pose in a promotional image
(Netflix)

Following the success of Knives Out, Netflix purchased the rights to the film’s sequels and ordered two standalone sequels. The first of the sequels to premiere was Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. The film hit the streaming platform on December 23, a month after enjoying the widest limited theatrical debut of a Netflix film so far. Craig’s Benoit was the only major Knives Out cast member who returned for Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. This is because he tackled an entirely new mystery, featuring five wealthy friends who are invited to their benefactor, Miles Bron’s (Edward Norton), birthday party on a secluded island. Blanc inexplicably shows up on the island with the friends, but his unexplainable presence proves worthwhile when a dead body turns up, and the death is ruled a homicide. As in the first film, everyone is a suspect and nothing is as it seems.

3. Knives Out 3

Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc in Knives Out sitting on a throne of knives
(Lionsgate)

Even though Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery only just premiered, the franchise has already confirmed a third film. This is because, when Netflix acquired the rights to the franchise in 2021, they acquired the rights to both Knives Out 2 and Knives Out 3. Given the Netflix deal, and the success of Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Knives Out 3 is all but 100% guaranteed to happen. Johnson has already confirmed that he is planning out the film. There was about a three-year gap between the first and second film, but that was also taking the COVID-19 pandemic into account. Hence, Knives Out 3 can likely be expected to premiere in 2024 or 2025, at the latest. While Blanc, the star of the franchise, is expected to return, no other details of the film have been released.

4. Knives Out 4 (?)

Helen (Janelle Monáe) and Benoit (Daniel Craig) talking in Glass Onion
(Netflix)

So far, there are only two Knives Out films that have premiered, and one that is planned. However, Knives Out 4 is definitely a possibility. The franchise has experienced a very high level of success, both for the original film and the sequel. If the third film can carry on the momentum, we could be looking at a Knives Out 4 in the future. After all, both director Johnson and franchise star Craig, have indicated they will stay involved in the franchise as long as the other does.

Craig told Variety, “If he [Johnson] keeps writing them, I’ll keep doing them. That’s what makes it easy then, he’s such a wonderful writer that it’s there on the page for me to do.” Meanwhile, Johnson countered with, “I’m going to keep making these until Daniel [Craig] blocks me on his phone.” So, the Knives Out franchise could go on for quite a while, especially if it turns out to be a competition between Craig and Johnson about who will stick to the franchise longer.

(featured image: Netflix)

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Rachel Ulatowski is a Freelance Writer, blogger, and aspiring author. As a Freelancer Writer she hopes to give readers the same comfort and enjoyment that she finds in all things nerdy and noteworthy, as a blogger she enjoys snarking on YouTubers and reality stars, and as a future novelist she hopes to raise awareness for child abuse through literature.