Toronto: MRC Boards Daniel Craig's 'Knives Out' as Studio Financier

Courtesy of Omega

Rian Johnson is slated to direct the contemporary murder mystery.

MRC has boarded Knives Out, which features James Bond star Daniel Craig toplining a contemporary murder mystery to be directed by Rian Johnson, as the studio financier.

The high-profile indie was being shopped at the Toronto Film Festival by CAA Media Finance and FilmNation, and CAA Media Finance brokered the deal on behalf of the filmmakers.

MRC will be approaching distributors in the coming weeks with additional casting already underway. Johnson and longtime producing partner Ram Bergman are the creative forces behind Knives Out, and most recently collaborated on Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

"We have been massive fans of Rian and Ram’s since we saw Brick, and have been pursuing them ever since. Knives Out is such a fun, inventive and entertaining film, and we are thrilled to partner with Rian, Ram and Daniel on this exciting, original project," said MRC co-presidents of film Brye Adler and Jonathan Golfman in a statement.

"We are so excited to work with Brye, Jonathan and the whole team at MRC. They’re true movie fans and will be terrific partners for this adventure," Johnson and Bergman added in their own statement.

Knives Out will see Craig play a detective attempting to solve a crime in an updated murder mystery. Johnson and Bergman's project opened up for Craig after the abrupt exit of director Danny Boyle from the next installment in the James Bond film franchise — meaning production on the tentpole is likely to be delayed and miss its Nov. 8, 2019, release date in North American theaters.

Craig has been playing Agent 007 since 2006's Casino Royale, and has since starred in three other Bond films: 2008's Quantum of Solace, 2012's Skyfall and 2015's Spectre.

Johnson and Bergman are represented by CAA and attorney Stephen Clark. Craig is represented by CAA, Sally Long-Innes at Independent Talent and his attorney, Doug Stone.

Media Rights Capital is owned by Valence Media, which is also the parent company of The Hollywood Reporter.

This story also appears in The Hollywood Reporter's Sept. 8 daily issue at the Toronto Film Festival.