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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Rian Johnson says he's not thinking about the next "Benoit Blanc mystery" as a Knives Out sequel

Illustration for article titled Rian Johnson says hes not thinking about the next Benoit Blanc mystery as a iKnives Out /isequel
Photo: Claire Folger (Lionsgate)

Earlier this week, Lionsgate confirmed that it was making a fairly no-brainer decision in regards to whodunnit hit Knives Out, tapping Rian Johnson to continue the adventures of Daniel Craig’s deep-fried crimesolver Benoit Blanc with a sequel to the 2019 film. And pretty much only him, apparently: While the script hasn’t been written yet, Johnson gave an interview this week in which he made it clear he’s not even really thinking of the next movie as a “Knives Out sequel,” so much as it’s simply the next installment of “the Benoit Blanc mysteries.”

Among other things, Johnson noted that, even within the structure of the Agatha Christie stories the film pays knowing homage to, there are plenty of genres and archetypes to explore beyond “rich people murder each other in a giant house.” He pointed to And Then There Were None as a proto-slasher flick, for instance, while the Hercule Poirot adventure The ABC Murders has plenty in common with a more modern serial killer plot. Any of which could presumably be handled by Craig’s Blanc, especially if circumstances force him to adopt another, even more ridiculous accent, because we would very much like to see/hear/experience that, please.


Of course, the weirdest thing about Knives Out’s structure is that it essentially drops Blanc as a protagonist after the first third of the movie, instead shifting to Ana De Armas’ Marta, and leaving Craig’s character in a quasi-antagonistic role. (Albeit one in which he’s still deploying his considerable deductive skills and command of doughnut hole-based metaphors in pursuit of truth.) Despite the size of the performance, Blanc is essentially in a supporting role for most of the movie; as Johnson took pains to note in the same interview, Knives Out is Marta’s story, and her relationship with the Thrombey family, not the final beat of the mystery, is what the movie chooses to finish on. Given that Craig’s character is kind of a cipher—albeit a deeply amusing one—it’ll be interesting to see if the next Benoit Blanc film dives deeper into his own story, or simply gives him a new set of protagonists to assist/pursue.

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