Fans of murder mysteries and Southern detectives have reason to be excited as Rian Johnson is already gearing up for the third Knives Out movie. And yes, a third movie is a straight-up guarantee as part of the gigantic deal the filmmaker signed with Netflix for the sequels. While Lionsgate distributed the first movie, Johnson had the option to take his business elsewhere for the follow-up, and he cashed in hard. In any event, with the release of Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery on Netflix recently, all eyes are now on the third Benoit Blanc mystery.
Johnson recently spoke with Wired in honor of the sequel’s release. During the conversation, the writer/director was asked how important it was for Glass Onion to get a theatrical release, which Netflix granted, albeit for a single week. Johnson described it as “very important” and watching it with crowds as “like a drug” before revealing that he’s already put pen to paper on the third installment.
“It’s such a weird time right now because I’m just starting to work on writing the next mystery movie, and it’ll be a few years before it comes out and god only knows what the landscape’s gonna look like at that point. I feel like trying to guess where we’re gonna be next is maybe a fool’s errand.”
Right next to nothing is known about Knives Out 3 at this point, other than the fact that Daniel Craig will again reprise his role as Benoit Blanc. Johnson’s point that it’s tough to guess where the industry will be in a few years is right. Streaming is very much in flux right now, and the theatrical marketplace is still trying to get on its feet after the pandemic in some ways. The filmmaker later expressed in the interview that he hopes the theatrical experience remains a big part of the equation.
“My hope is theatrical. My hope is that however it happens, that theatrical will find a way to come back and kind of solidify and find its form in the culture. I feel like it’s something that people still want.”
Despite having success with Glass Onion in limited release, Netflix still seems largely uninterested in going full theatrical with its movies. They may be leaving money on the table though, as the original Knives Out grossed just shy of $313 million against a $40 million budget. That, in turn, paved the way for the huge Netflix deal and for Glass Onion to make an estimated $13 million in just a week of limited release. Imagine what it could have done with a larger rollout. Perhaps that’s something we can all hope for, come time for Mr. Blanc to solve another case in a few years.
Glass Onion is streaming now on Netflix.