This Is What Makes ‘Glass Onion’s Biggest Cameo So Perfect for a ‘Knives Out’ Film
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery features a great many stars bringing us absolutely brilliant performances, but there’s one brief moment in the movie that, while spoiled by those who saw it at film festivals, has delighted me to no end! I’m talking about Benoit Blanc’s Zoom friends, of course!
*Spoilers ahead, but you knew that from the headline, right?*
When Blanc (Daniel Craig) is depressed because of COVID lockdowns and stuck in his own bath (and head, for that matter), he gets onto a Zoom with his friends to play games. It’s something many of us have done throughout the pandemic, and it is why games like Among Us have gotten so popular. Blanc is the imposter and is very bad at it, and when he instantly gets caught, he asks his friends how, and his friends just happen to be Angela Lansbury, Natasha Lyonne, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and my beloved Stephen Sondheim.
Glass Onion writer/director Rian Johnson talking about Stephen Sondheim is, as the kids say, so me—meaning that this is how I sound when I start talking about Sondheim and his work and so I’m happy to be in the same company as Johnson. The scene is simple, just a look into who Blanc’s friends would be, and they each have a pull towards mysteries or movie cameos that make it that much sweeter.
Lansbury was famously Jessica Fletcher in Murder, She Wrote, Lyonne is starring in Johnson’s upcoming Poker Face show for Peacock, Abdul-Jabbar has a history of movie cameos that make this a delight to see (as well as the fact that he has written a number of Mycroft Holmes stories), and then there is Sondheim, who does love murder (remember Sweeney Todd?), but Johnson pointed out that his involvement is a little deeper.
“Sondheim has a massive connection to the murder-mystery genre,” director Rian Johnson said to Entertainment Weekly. “He was a puzzle and mystery nut. He co-wrote, with Anthony Perkins, The Last of Sheila, which our film takes a huge page from in terms of the setup. And a lot of people don’t know [it’s] the only straight play he ever wrote that wasn’t a musical was a whodunit.”
Johnson went on to say, “I feel so thankful that I got a chance to tell him what his work meant to me in my life. He couldn’t have been lovelier, and he was so game for doing this little cameo. It brings me so much joy that he’s in the movie.”
It really and truly did mean a lot to me that my favorite musical theatre lyricist and composer had his last onscreen appearance in a Rian Johnson whodunnit.
The greatest game of Among Us that ever was
Now, I played a lot of Among Us and Zoom games with my friends over the course of the pandemic because, well, what else were we doing? So seeing Blanc go through the same motions and having those lows was nice. I know that the COVID aspect of the movie rubbed some people the wrong way because they’d rather watch things that just ignore that we all collectively went through a tough time and are still doing so, but hey, I loved how the movie handled it.
And look, if you could have a Zoom meeting with Stephen Sondheim, Angela Lansbury, Natasha Lyonne, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar where you tell them they’re going to play Among Us with fictional detective Benoit Blanc in your new film, you’d do it, too.
(featured image: Netflix)
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