With Star Wars: The Last Jedi grossing over $1.3 billion worldwide, at the box office in 2017, writer-director Rian Johnson has had pretty much had carte blanche for his next project.
He opted for a postmodern take on the classic whodunnit, called Knives Out.
It’s not as much of a radical departure for Johnson as it might seem. His debut feature film, Brick (2005), was a crime drama with film noir overtones, largely inspired by the works of Dashiell Hammett and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. (The actor would go on to star in Johnson’s third film, 2012’s Looper.)
For Brick, Johnson had his actors read Hammett and watch classic screwball comedies like His Girl Friday to bring a lighter touch to the traditional noir genre. Now, he seems to have brought something of that same sensibility—mixing dark subject matter with a lighter touch—to Knives Out.
Speaking with EW, Johnson provided additional details about the story. Christopher Plummer, whose character is the murder victim, plays Harlan Thrombey – a famous author who dies during his 85th birthday party.
According to Johnson, Harlan has a “massive empire” to his name and his extended family “to one degree or another live based on his success.”
It sounds as if wealth is the primary motivation behind the crime, and Daniel Craig‘s Benoit Blanc most likely suspects one of the other Thrombeys was behind it.
That’s why he doesn’t want anyone to leave until the investigation is completed.
This is the synopsis for the film:
Acclaimed writer and director Rian Johnson (Brick, Looper, The Last Jedi) pays tribute to mystery mastermind Agatha Christie in Knives Out, a fun, modern-day murder mystery where everyone is a suspect. When renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is found dead at his estate just after his 85th birthday, the inquisitive and debonair Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is mysteriously enlisted to investigate. From Harlan’s dysfunctional family to his devoted staff, Blanc sifts through a web of red herrings and self-serving lies to uncover the truth behind Harlan’s untimely death. With an all-star ensemble cast including Chris Evans, Ana De Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Michael Shannon, Toni Collette, LaKeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford and Jaeden Martell, Knives Out is a witty and stylish whodunit guaranteed to keep audiences guessing until the very end.
Watch the trailer below:
In theaters on November 27th.
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