Rian Johnson is heading back to his murder mystery roots for his next feature film, “Knives Out.” Deadline confirms the filmmaker has cast Daniel Craig in his new movie, described as a “contemporary murder mystery.” Craig is set to star as the lead detective now that his schedule has opened up following the delay of the next James Bond movie.
Johnson told Deadline “Knives Out” is partially inspired by his love of Agatha Christie murder mysteries. The director wrote the original screenplay over the summer and is set to produce the movie alongside Ram Bergman. Johnson last explored the murder mystery/detective genre in his beloved high school-set “Brick,” which earned him acclaim and set him up to direct bigger-budget fare like “Looper” and, ultimately, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Plot specifics on “Knives Out” are being kept under wraps.
Production on “Knives Out” is set to begin this November. Craig was originally set to reprise his role as James Bond on the fall production of Bond 25, but the tentpole has been delayed following director Danny Boyle’s departure. The movie will be Johnson’s first since “The Last Jedi” and will mark a break from the “Star Wars” universe before he reunites with Lucasfilm for a brand new “Star Wars” trilogy in the future.
“I have been a huge fan and always wanted to work with [Craig] and as I worked on the script, trying to get it right, Ram and I were wringing our hands over who could be the detective,” Johnson told Deadline. “Then, serendipitously, we heard Daniel might have a small window, and it worked out. He’s an actor of extraordinary range, and we are looking forward to the fun of finding that modern detective, and collaborating with Daniel on creating a new [Hercule Poirot].”
Johnson and Bergman will be taking the project to the market at the Toronto International Film Festival to seek distributors.