Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery expanded Benoit Blanc’s (Daniel Craig) story via Netflix, proving to be a smashing success, and that is set to continue in Knives Out 3. Writer and director Rian Johnson has turned 2019’s Knives Out into a modern whodunit franchise, complete with a rotating cast of Hollywood stars. Glass Onion saw Craig joined by the likes of Janelle Monáe, Ed Norton, Dave Bautista, and Kate Hudson for a weekend murder mystery that goes very, very wrong. Knives Out 2 was just as good as the original, setting up a promising third installment.
Much like Knives Out before it, Glass Onion is another mystery that’s full of different layers, each one being peeled back to reveal a new surprise. With the death of Bautista’s Duke Cody and the shock of Andi’s (Monáe) own death and her twin sister replacing her, then it certainly lives up to the onion part of its name. With another Benoit Blanc case in the books, then Knives Out 3 will have to go some way to topping it. Here’s what’s known about Knives Out 3 so far.
Yes, Knives Out 3 is officially happening. That was part of the deal when Netflix purchased Knives Out sequels back in 2020 after a bidding war that saw them strike a deal with Johnson and producing partner Ram Bergman, worth around $450 million. That deal guaranteed Netflix at least two Knives Out sequels, meaning Knives Out 3 is going to be made (barring a late twist not even Benoit Blanc would see coming). Johnson and Craig have both said they’re open to more beyond that, though, so Knives Out 3 won’t necessarily be the last in the franchise.
Knives Out 2 ended up performing exceptionally well at the Thanksgiving box office, which stood on shaky ground as it was. While Glass Onion was only allowed a limited theatrical release, the movie’s streaming numbers blew the competition out of the water. Glass Onion released on Netflix on December 23rd, 2022 after a limited theatrical run per part of the deal with the streaming service. The Glass Onion ending saw plenty of twists and turns, and while Netflix doesn’t release their numbers, data from Reelgood (via Media Play News) shows that the film topped the streaming charts for the week of December 28th, 2022, beating out competition like Yellowstone, Wednesday, and Top Gun: Maverick. Needless to say, this bodes extremely well for Knives Out 3.
The Knives Out 3 cast has one name confirmed, which is that of Daniel Craig. His involvement was a condition of Netflix’s purchase of Knives Out sequels, so it would take something major for him not to come back. Otherwise, it’s likely most of the actors would be newcomers, similar to how Glass Onion’s cast is almost entirely made up of new players in Johnson’s game. One other possible returnee is Hugh Grant, who has a surprising cameo as Blanc’s partner, Phillip, in Glass Onion (it’s not explicit in the movie, but Johnson has confirmed Benoit Blanc is gay), and is a role that could be expanded in a sequel.
While the Knives Out 3 cast is still a mystery, Rian Johnson has a couple of actors he likes to work with repeatedly, and they could make an appearance in his new movie. Johnson has a strong history with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, casting him as the lead in his very first movie, an indie flick called Brick. He cast Gordon-Levitt again for Looper, this time as an assassin. Gordon-Levitt also had a cameo in Knives Out, appearing on a detective show Marta (Ana de Armas) and her mother are watching. Another actor that could appear in Knives Out 3 would be The Batman star Paul Dano. Like Gordon-Levitt, Dano was in Looper as well, and the actor has shot to stardom as of late, also appearing in The Fabelmans alongside Michelle Williams. Finally, Johnson has a working relationship with Bryan Cranston after directing several episodes of Breaking Bad, meaning he’s another major star that could be added to the Knives Out 3 cast.
Glass Onion does not directly set up Knives Out 3, much the same way as Knives Out didn’t set up Knives Out 2. The entries are, in classic whodunit fashion, all made to be standalone movies, so it would be a brand-new case for Benoit Blanc to solve. That will make for an exciting challenge for Knives Out 3’s story, which needs to craft another mystery that feels fresh, clever, and surprising for both the detective and audiences, though presumably, it will be another murder. The Knives Out 3 story could also focus more on Blanc’s home life, especially if Grant returns: it was fleshed out a little more in Glass Onion, and feels ripe for further exploration. It’ll also be interesting to see how Knives Out 3 continues the series’ examination of wealth and status, after Knives Out tackled old money and class and Glass Onion new, tech bro money.
Knives Out hit theatres in September 2019, and Glass Onion released just over three years later in November 2023, but that was within a film industry hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and production didn’t begin until mid-2021. Netflix would likely want a shorter turnaround between sequels after paying so much money, and the films are relatively quick to shoot. Johnson wants Knives Out 3 as his next movie, so if he can get a script and cast together over the next year or so then a Knives Out 3 release date of late 2024 seems reasonable.
According to Deadline, Rian Johnson has confirmed that he will begin working on Knives Out 3 in early 2023, just after the turn of the new year. In the interview, director Rian Johnson talked about all of the projects on his mind but stated that he just couldn’t stop thinking about Knives Out 3. “I think everybody assumed I’d have a couple other random ideas – unrelated projects – that I’ve been kicking around. But, honestly, over the past couple of months, the most exciting creative thing to me right now is that third movie,” Johnson admitted.
Reportedly, director Rian Johnson has since been carrying around a moleskin notebook and jotting down ideas as they come to him, as this is primarily part of his own creative process. Even throughout the press tour for Glass Onion, the notebook has stayed closely at the director’s side, as he claims his biggest fear is starting off 2023 with a blank page. The director also noted that about 80% of his filmmaking process involves notes and writing down ideas. Since Rian Johnson is starting to write Knives Out 3, that late 2024 release date is looking pretty good right about now.
Next: Knives Out 2’s Title Makes The Original’s Best Line Even Better