While Knives Out was a sleeper hit in 2019, its sequel, Glass Onions: A Knives Out Mystery, has become one of the most anticipated new releases of 2022.
The murder mystery features a reteaming of writer/director Rian Johnson and star Daniel Craig and is set on a luxurious Greek island.
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At Saturday’s Contenders Los Angeles event, the director told News Brig’s chief film critic Peter Hammond how he turned to Agatha Christie for inspiration for injecting fresh life into the sequel.
“Christie was doing wild new swings with every single thing that she published and she was swinging for the rafters,” Johnson said. “She was shaking it up. She was subverting the genre and turning it on its head … and so that was our goal with this one is let’s make something that gives you a fun who-done-it and scratches the same itch but let’s do it in a way that’s going to truly surprise and delight people.”
Like the first film, Glass Onion features an all-star cast of actors with the likes of Craig, Kate Hudson, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn and Edward Norton forming a new group of suspects and victims.
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All of the actors present spoke to the joy and enthusiasm they had for joining the film and Monáe shared the excitement she felt working with Johnson.
“It was a dream of mine to get that call and to work with Ryan. He has been a director on my mind since I saw Looper and then I went down this rabbit hole, I went to watch Brick and everything and then I saw the first Knives Out with Daniel. I love the first one and after I read the script I was like ‘this is a real role that I get to play with.’ So layered and so mysterious … I got an opportunity to show different sides of myself as an actor.
The movie was shot during the height of the Covid pandemic, and Johnson told the panel about the unique ways he found to entertain the cast while they were all under extreme lockdown.
“We were in Belgrade. It was in the middle of the Delta spike, so the numbers are very bad,” he said. “We have to keep everyone safe so we were very locked down in a nice hotel in Belgrade. So, on weekends to blow off steam the group full of actors, we would rent out the hotel bar up top, get very drunk together and play Mafia. Kate [Hudson] takes her mafia very, very seriously.”
Check back Monday for the panel video.