In 2020, while in lockdown, Academy Award-nominated writer and director Rian Johnson decided to take a fantasy vacation with a killer twist. The result is Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, which sees detective Benoit Blanc (Golden Globe-nominee Daniel Craig) reprising his role from Knives Out and traveling to the Mediterranean to solve a brand-new mystery.
If Knives Out was about the murderous ties of flesh and blood, Glass Onion makes a good case for being just as wary of ones closest friends. When tech billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton) invites some of his nearest and dearest for a getaway on his private Greek island, it soon becomes clear that all is not perfect in paradise. And when someone turns up dead, well, who better than Blanc to peel back the layers of intrigue?
Johnson describes his casting approach as throwing a dinner party. At the table this time around are Edward Norton, 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).
Holding them all together is Craigs philosophically minded sleuth, whose mouthful of an accent chomps through bluster and subterfuge to tease out those all-important clues. In fact, Johnson teases that Blanc will be getting a little more of the spotlight this time around.
In keeping with its more coastal vacation vibes, the new film trades in Knives Outs creaky Massachusetts mansion for a billionaires compound in Greece. Johnson says he stumbled upon the perfect location Villa 20 at the Amanzoe in Porto Heli, Greece and just knew he had to shoot there.
In other words, if you're expecting a Knives Out repeat, don't. Johnson, whose original screenplay for Knives Out was nominated for an Academy Award, wanted everything about this next film to look and feel as different as possible. Along with Christies novels, he looked to tropical getaway murder mystery films like 1982s Evil Under the Sun, and in particular, 1973s The Last of Sheila, for inspiration.
In any whodunnit, part of the fun is putting on your own deerstalker hat and trying to guess the ending and the culprit. But before you spiral into your very own version of the It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia conspiracy meme, Johnson has some advice. It's a roller coaster and not a crossword puzzle.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery will premiere globally on Netflix Dec. 23. Consider the game officially afoot.