As Knives Out concludes yet another strong weekend at the box office, writer-director Rian Johnson is already working on a follow-up to his hit original whodunit, lining up a potential franchise for Lionsgate.
Johnson told The Hollywood Reporter at Lionsgate’s pre-Golden Globes party on Saturday night that he was already developing a sequel centered on Daniel Craig’s Southern detective Benoit Blanc investigating a new case. The filmmaker added that he was eager to make the pic quickly, ideally in the next year.
Johnson’s producing partner Ram Bergman added that Craig was eager to reprise the role. “Daniel had so much fun doing it, and he wants to do more,” he said.
Lionsgate and MRC’s Knives Out, made for a reported $40 million and boasting a star-studded cast including Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Christopher Plummer and Toni Collette, became a shining beacon for original films in a 2019 box office dominated by sequels and franchises. It is up for three Golden Globe awards on Sunday: best comedy/musical picture, best comedy/musical actor for Craig and best comedy/musical actress for Ana de Armas. (MRC shares a parent company, Valence Media, with The Hollywood Reporter.)
Lionsgate has not officially greenlit a Knives Out sequel, but given the film’s $247 million haul worldwide, it could be the beginning of a lucrative franchise for the studio and for Craig as he wraps up his stint portraying James Bond in the upcoming No Time to Die. Joe Drake, chairman of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, told THR at Saturday’s party that he is eager to read a script.
Johnson, who directed 2017’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, is also developing a new Star Wars trilogy, but those plans have slowed as Disney and Lucasfilm figure out the next steps in the franchise following December’s The Rise of Skywalker, which concludes the saga that began with 1977’s A New Hope.