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Rian Johnson Is ‘Pissed Off’ that ‘Glass Onion’ Had to Have ‘A Knives Out Mystery’ in Title

"There’s a gravity of a thousand suns toward serialized storytelling.”

GLASS ONION: A KNIVES OUT MYSTERY, (aka KNIVES OUT 2), from left: Kate Hudson, Leslie Odom Jr., Kathryn Hahn, 2022. © Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”

©Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection

When you watch “Glass Onion,” Rian Johnson’s sequel to his popular whodunnit “Knives Out,” the title card reads just, well, “Glass Onion.” But in marketing materials, the film was given the subtitle “A Knives Out Mystery” to emphasize its connection to the 2019 box office smash. It’s a move that Johnson is not a fan of, as he revealed in an interview with The Atlantic.

“I’ve tried hard to make them self-contained,” Johnson said about the “Knives Out” films, which follow Daniel Craig’s dandy detective Benoit Blanc as he solves different complex mysteries with new casts of characters. “Honestly, I’m pissed off that we have ‘A Knives Out Mystery’ in the title. You know? I want it to just be called ‘Glass Onion.’ I get it, and I want everyone who liked the first movie to know this is next in the series, but also, the whole appeal to me is it’s a new novel off the shelf every time. But there’s a gravity of a thousand suns toward serialized storytelling.”

“Glass Onion,” which hit on Netflix December 23 after a week-long theatrical release over Thanksgiving, pits Blanc against a new cast of suspects portrayed by Edward Norton, Dave Bautista, Janelle Monae, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Kate Hudson, Jessica Henwick, and Madelyn Cline. The movie grossed $15 million during its limited release against a $40 million budget and debuted at No. 1 on the streamer’s top 10 films chart.

Since its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival this September, “Glass Onion” has received critical acclaim. On IndieWire’s list of the 25 best films of the year, the movie ranked No. 15, with Kate Erbland writing, “Filmmaker Rian Johnson needn’t worry about a sophomore slump, because while ‘Glass Onion’ holds some resemblance to his 2019 smash hit (stacked casts, lavish locations, Daniel Craig having the time of his goddamn life), this sequel is zippily and zanily its own thrill ride, and Johnson can’t churn these babies out fast enough.”

Johnson has already signed a deal to release a third “Knives Out” film via Netflix. The director’s next project is “Poker Face” on Peacock, another series of self-contained murder mysteries. The drama, which stars “Glass Onion” cameo Natasha Lyonne as a private detective traveling the United States, will premiere on Peacock January 26.

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