Rian Johnson’s Knives Out saw the filmmaker going back to basics after the wildly polarizing Star Wars: The Last Jedi, crafting a twisting whodunnit that came packing a ton of star power, plenty of intrigue and no shortage of mystery, and it went on to become one of 2019’s biggest sleeper hits.
The movie raked in $311 million at the box office, garnered a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and landed Johnson an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay, but it hardly screamed multi-film franchise. However, that changed when Netflix stepped in to secure the rights to a pair of follow ups in a deal worth upwards of $400 million, and shooting on the sequel is set to conclude at the end of this month.
Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc is the only holdover from the first installment, lending Knives Out 2 a completely clean slate and a shift towards anthology territory. One of the many new additions to the roster is Dave Bautista, and in a new interview he revealed his belief that it’s going to be better than its predecessor.
“I really think it’s going to be as good, if not better, than the first one. I’m always afraid to say that because I don’t want anybody to get offended saying that we’re going to be better, but I really do think this. I think the characters are just so much more colorful. I think people are really going to dig this. Everybody’s cast so well. I was working with a couple of my castmates and was mesmerized by their performances and just how well they’ve adapted into these characters. I think the characters in this are even more quirky than the first one.”
The Guardians of the Galaxy star will be joined by Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Ethan Hawke, Leslie Odom Jr., Kate Hudson, Jessica Henwick, Jada Pinkett Smith and more, so Knives Out 2 is equal to the opener in terms of talent. Whether or not it manages to be as unique and engaging is an entirely different question, but Netflix is famed for offering increased levels of creative control compared to the traditional studio system, so Johnson will have been free to let his imagination run wild cracking the story for what’s going to be one of the platform’s most anticipated originals slated for 2022.