Rian Johnson has already said that, in addition to an updated cast and storyline, the Knives Out follow-up will also incorporate a new location, so, why not somewhere like Hawaii? Or, to be more specific, a tropical, solitary island on which Benoit Blanc is trapped with a murderer and a slew of suspicious vacationers? It would be a fun change of pace to set a whodunnit in a setting that is, not only warmer, but a unique juxtaposition to your typical murder mystery, especially when you considering how nothing bad is ever supposed to happen in paradise.
Rian Johnson’s follow-up to Knives Out won’t be a direct sequel but a totally new mystery for Daniel Craig‘s detective character, Benoit Blanc. Craig starred alongside a ridiculously talented cast that included Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, and many more. The film was a pleasant surprise for moviegoers, as its original story and unapologetic political subtext made it incredibly successful both commercially and critically. Knives Out grossed well over $200 million worldwide and was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Original Screenplay category.The film begins with the death of a wealthy mystery novelist (Christopher Plummer), initially ruled a suicide. However, once Benoit Blanc arrives on the scene – and begins digging around – foul play becomes evident, and just about everyone has a motive. From there, the family of the dead novelist quickly unravel and eventually focus their ire on the novelist’s longtime nurse (who also happens to be Blanc’s new assistant), Marta (de Armas).Speaking with Sirius XM (via comicbook.com), Johnson discussed how he would re-enter the world he’d created, saying, “In my mind, I don’t even think of it in terms of like a sequel… Ever since we started working on this, I was like, look, if we can keep this going, the same way Agatha Christie wrote a bunch of Poirot novels. I mean, do that with Blanc and keep making more mysteries. Whole new cast, whole new location, whole new mystery. It’s just another Benoit Blanc mystery, and it seems like there’s just so many different things you can do with it, you know? It seems like it’d be really fun.”
Johnson seems particularly excited about the possibilities that this free-form series provides. Through the lens of Blanc, he can explore a myriad of ideas and themes. He likens that freedom to how Agatha Christie‘s novels varied in tone and purpose, saying that she “explored a bunch of different subgenres, like, And Then There Were None is essentially a slasher film, it’s basically a horror movie. The ABC Murders is kind of like a proto-serial killer movie in a way.”
Johnson has always shown a deftness and excitement for subverting genre expectations. In addition to Knives Out 2, one of the director’s previous films, Brick, toys with the conventions of the hardboiled detective, and The Last Jedi serves as a meditation on the past (and future) of Star Wars. It’s easy to see why Johnson’s so excited to continue the adventures of Benoit Blanc. The character allows him to continue those genre subversions in new and exciting ways while bringing along the built-in audience that the first film cultivated. Fans will have to wait and see what inventive twists and incredible sweaters the Knives Out scribe has in store for them, potentially as early as next year.