Knives Out 2 — and Knives Out 3 — are bringing more murders, mysteries and mayhem to Netflix. Rian Johnson's sequel is bringing back Daniel Craig and adding Guardians of the Galaxy's Dave Bautista. And Knives Out 2 has cast a second Marvel actor in a week — Edward Norton.
Netflix bought the rights to Knives Out 2 and 3 for an eye-popping $450 million. The sequels will reunite Johnson as director and Craig as detective Benoit Blanc in another Agatha Christie-inspired murder among a motley crew of suspects.
The first Knives Out was released in November 2019 and also featured Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield and Christopher Plummer. The film was surprise hit, making $311 million at the global box office on a modest $40 million budget and earning an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay.
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The film was a passion project for writer/director Rian Johnson, and he’s always been keen to turn the “whodunnit” series into a franchise, even hinting at a potential sequel before the first film’s release.
Johnson is on board to write and helm both Netflix-produced sequels, but other details are slim on the who, what, when, where and how of it all.
At $450 million, Knives Out 2 and 3 deal is one of the biggest ever made for the rights to a movie series. Even divided in two, it exceeds Netflix's payments of $115 million for the Ben Affleck heist caper Triple Frontier and $130 million for Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman.
Here's everything we know so far about Knives Out 2 and Knives Out 3.
Knives Out 2 release date
Netflix has not announced a release date for Knives Out 2.
Deadline reported that filming is set to start June 28 in Greece, and casting will begin immediately.
Knives Out 2 cast: Enter Dave Bautista and Edward Norton
The only confirmed cast member returning from Knives Out for the sequels is Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc, the famous detective with a Southern drawl who was modeled on Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot.
Deadline reported that Knives Out 2 cast is adding Dave Bautista, best known for playing Drax in Guardians Of The Galaxy. He is also starring in Zack Snyder's upcoming Netflix zombie flick, Army of the Dead. No details are known about Bautista's character in Knives Out 2.
In addition to Bautista, Knives Out 2 has cast another Marvel movie actor — Edward Norton. He played The Hulk in 2008 and is well-known for roles in Fight Club, American History X and Birdman.
Other original Knives Out cast members are unlikely to return. Johnson has said that any future sequels would have new casts. Blanc presumably moves on to another case involving new characters.
However, some fans have campaigned for the original actors to return in completely different roles, kind of like a repertory company. For example, Toni Collette could play Blanc's partner or Chris Evans is the murder victim. Then, they could all return for Knives Out 3 in new roles again.
While Johnson is starting fresh with the Knives Out 2 cast, that doesn't preclude calling up actors from his other movies, like Laura Dern (Star Wars: The Last Jedi), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Brick, Looper) or Rachel Weisz (The Brothers Bloom). Bonus: Weisz also happens to be married to Craig.
Knives Out 2: Chris Evans return?
You may not want to bet on Chris Evans returning, though. This detail wasn't announced in the news of Knives Out 2, but Johnson basically The Hollywood Reporter that Evans won't be back.
Sorry everyone, @ChrisEvans and his sweater will not be back for the #KnivesOut sequel. @rianjohnson teases what to expect: https://t.co/COJFfflTaV #InStudioTHR pic.twitter.com/wZ3dwTzLOgFebruary 28, 2020
Knives Out 3 release date and news
With production on Knives Out 2 only just getting started, there's very little news about Knives Out 3.
It's no surprise that Netflix bought the rights to both films, though. While it remains the biggest streaming platform worldwide, it’s facing stiff competition from the likes of Disney Plus and HBO Max. Both those platforms have an edge when it comes to franchise movies. Disney boasts massive names such as Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars, while HBO Max has fanboy favorites such as the Snyder Cut and Godzilla vs Kong.
Netflix’s own attempts at launching movie franchises have largely fallen flat in recent years. However, the Chris Helmworth vehicle Extraction did prove successful and is primed for a sequel of its own.
It’s currently unknown whether Netflix will opt to give these Knives Out sequels a theatrical release alongside making them available for streaming.
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