Private Detective Benoit Blanc will be back on the case before the end of the year, with the long-awaited Knives Out 2 set to land on Netflix just in time for Christmas. The latest film in the Daniel Craig-led comedy thriller franchise, entitled Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, will premiere on December 23, the streaming service confirmed at its TUDUM fan event. The sequel to the 2019 smash-hit will see the former Bond actor reprise his role as the enigmatic detective with the charming Southern draw in a new whodunnit from Academy Award-nominated writer and director Rian Johnson. This time around, however, Benoit Blanc is headed to the Mediterranean.
According to the official synopsis, Knives Out 2 once again tackles the fabled murder mystery genre, but there is a host of new faces joining the ensemble cast. Where the original film starred a who’s who of Hollywood elites, from Chris Evans and Ana De Armas to Jamie-Lee Curtis and Christopher Plummer, Glass Onion introduces fans to an equally prestigious cast and crew. Academy Award nominee Edward Norton plays tech billionaire Miles Bron, who invites some of his nearest and dearest for a getaway on his private Greek island, however, it soon becomes clear that all is not perfect in paradise. When a party member turns up dead, Benoit Blanc is called in to “peel back the layers of intrigue”. Joining him will be Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn (Private Life), Leslie Odom Jr., Jessica Henwick (The Gray Man), Madelyn Cline (Outer Banks), with Kate Hudson, and Dave Bautista (Army of the Dead).
Importantly, director Rian Johnson confirmed that the new sequel will dive a little deeper into the psychology of Daniel Craig‘s Benoit Blanc character, which stunned audiences and captivated viewers from the get-go. The Sherlock Homes-esque character, which reportedly netted Craig a cool USD$100 million, is set to play a more dominant role in Glass Onion, with Johnson revealing that the onus will shift slightly in Blanc’s favour.
“You definitely get to know him a little bit better,” Johnson told viewers at the TUDUM event. “In the first one, because of the way it was structured, Marta, Ana de Armas’ character, was very much the protagonist. In a big way, Blanc was the threat. He was almost the antagonist in terms of just the story structure, because you were worried, even as they got closer, that he was going to catch her and he was going to have to turn her over at the end. So Blanc was always outside of the sphere of our protagonist and was a little bit more of an enigma in the first movie. Whereas, in this one, Blanc gets an invitation to come to this murder mystery on this island. We’re very much meeting these people and getting into this world through his eyes.”
A different cast and murder also mean a different setting for the new film, which swaps the creaky Massachusetts mansion for a billionaire’s compound in Greece. Further playing off Johnson’s love affair with Agatha Christie, the exotic location harks back to the heyday of Detective Hercule Poirot investigation novels like Death on the Nile and The Murder on the Links. According to the filmmaker, he stumbled upon the perfect location — Villa 20 at the Amanzoe in Porto Heli, Greece – and knew immediately that it was the ideal location for a Christie-style murder mystery.
“There are absolutely some very clear inspirations that I took from it,” he says. “First of all, it’s structured around a group of friends, or frenemies, who all have a power dynamic with one of their successful friends. It begins with him sending an invitation for them to come and play this murder mystery game at this exotic locale. In The Last of Sheila, it’s on his yacht, and everything ends up going horribly wrong. That is essentially how Glass Onion begins.”
Somewhat ironically, Johnson inadvertently went on to unravel another mystery that has been plaguing fans since Knives Out 2 was first announced – the name. According to the creator, the film’s title pays homage to the 1968 Beatles song of the same name. Speaking with Netflix, he revealed that he is always fishing for something fun that Blanc can grab onto as an overwrought metaphor. Remarkably, he found it in his own song library.
“This is all in plain sight from the very start,” he said. “So, the idea of glass came to me, something that’s clear. I’ll be very honest. I literally got out my iPhone and searched my music library with the word glass. “There’s got to be some good glass songs.” I was like, “Oh, is it a glass fortress? Is it a glass castle? Is it a glass man?” The first thing that came up, because I’m a huge Beatles fan, is ‘Glass Onion.'”
Netflix followed up the latest announcement with some more good news, revealing the first official set images from the Knives Out sequel. With Craig back on board and a host of famous faces joining him for the ride, the game is officially afoot. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery will premiere in select theatres on a to-be-announced date and globally on Netflix on 23 December 2022.