Knives Out was a 21st-century rarity — the sort of of original, grownup, mid-budget success story that people are always saying Hollywood doesn’t make anymore. Rian Johnson’s whodunnit hit the rare sweet spot of being intelligent while remaining inaccessible, thrilling without losing its shambling charm and featured one of the most likeable casts this side of a Wes Anderson project. A sequel was inevitable, with Johnson telling anyone who’d listen that he had lots more ideas for Daniel Craig’s Detective Benoit Blanc. And now comes word that we’re getting not one, but two sequels. And they’re most likely headed to Netflix for an eye-popping sum.
If the anticipated $450 million deal goes down, it’ll be far and away the most expensive deal Netflix has made, which is pretty remarkable when you consider the humble origins of the first sequel. The story goes that Craig had some downtime after Danny Boyle exited the James Bond movie they were making and Johnson shot his shot, telling Craig he had an Agatha Christie-type story in mind, liked Craig for the role and would he want to shoot a low-budget passion project for a few days while the 007 movie got its act together? Craig was down and here we are.
Truth be told, the first Knives Out was such a delicious theater-going experience that it’ll be a bit a of a shame if the sequels stream exclusively on Netflix. Half the fun of watching Detective Blanc sort through the misdeeds of the Thrombey family were the breathless reactions of the people around you. After a full year of consuming every movie at home, on the couch, via Netflix or one of its competitors, it’d be nice to have something as enticing as a Knives Out sequel in the theatrical wings to help ease us back into seeing movies in public. But if we can’t have that, at least give us Knives Out with the Muppets.