As fans eagerly anticipate Knives Out 3, a trickle of information on the threequel has started to come out.
Rian Johnson's take on the murder mystery genre has become one of the breakout hits of the last decade.
After rave reviews for the first film and a stellar box office performance (grossing $312.9 million worldwide), Johnson signed a $450 million deal with Netflix for two Knives Out sequels, the first of which (Glass Onion) came to the service in 2022.
Starring Daniel Craig as detective Benoit Blanc, along with A-list talents like Ana De Armas, Chris Evans, and Dave Bautista, Johnson seemingly has stars lining up to be a part of these Clue-like ensembles.
Knives Out 3 Release: When Will It Come Out?
Knives Out 3 is currently in the works, but an exact release date has not been locked down.
The upcoming threequel will be the final movie under Rian Johnson's current deal with Netflix which promised two Knives Out sequels.
Johnson confirmed to Variety in January 2023 that he had "start[ed] to work on the third movie," but details beyond that remain scarce:
“They felt like the most entertaining thing in the world. And we make these movies as entertainment first and foremost. What was exciting about doing [‘Glass Onion’] was the notion of trying to emulate Christie with a completely new story. I’m starting to work on the third movie now, and that’s also what’s got me creatively jazzed: I don’t have to replicate the last movie at all. The goal is to strike out in a completely new direction tonally and thematically.”
This came a month after the director teased what was in store for the film to Digital Spy. During that conversation, Johnson said with Knives Out 3, "It's not just turning the crank on another one" but doing something that excites him creatively:
"It's not just turning the crank on another one. It's 'This is something that feels challenging and exciting. And my God, can we pull this off?' in a way that feels scary in a good way."
What is reassuring about the movie's potential release date is Johnson confirming the Knives Out threequel is his next movie (despite it not having to be).
Speaking to Deadline shortly before Glass Onion's release, the filmmaker said, "The most exciting creative thing to me right now is that third movie," meaning it is not as though fans will have to wait for Johnson to finish some other movie before getting to Knives Out 3:
"The most exciting creative thing to me right now is that third movie. And so, I think I'm going to hop right into it. Not because of a contractual obligation, but, genuinely, that's the shiny object I find my nose pointed toward right now."
He added, "I've got a Moleskine notebook that I carry everywhere and I'm constantly jotting stuff down in it," seemingly revealing his creative process on the third film was only just starting:
"I've got a Moleskine notebook that I carry everywhere and I'm constantly jotting stuff down in it. The first 80 percent of the process, for me, is scribbling in notebooks and structuring it all out. I'm trying to get ahead."
Seeing as Knives Out came out in 2020 and Glass Onion three years later in 2022, it seems likely that Knives Out 3 will hit Netflix sometime in late 2025.
But Netflix may want the movie sooner, according to co-head of the streamer's original studio film group Ori Marmur (via Variety):
"Rian Johnson is already working on the third one, but there’s no set time table. We’d love to have it sooner rather than later given the response to the last one."
Of course, due to the writers' and actors' strikes in Hollywood, that release date could be up in the air as further development - and eventually production - would have to be pushed back until a resolution is found.
Who Is Cast in Knives Out 3?
As it stands, the only confirmed character for Knives Out 3 is the series protagonist, Detective Benoit Blanc.
Daniel Craig's eccentric inspector has been the only constant seen throughout the two movies thus far in the franchise, and that seems to be intentional.
Of course, Glass Onion introduced Benoit's husband Philip (played by Hugh Grant), so he is also likely to return.
And Craig teased Grant's role in the upcoming third film, telling Above the Line he is "sure [the character's romantic life] will come into play:"
“If you watch the movie, I think it’s made explicit. In terms of exploring it, I mean, maybe, but with these movies, I mean, they’re not really about the detective’s sexuality. [But] it’s baked into the genre a little bit [when] the detective is kind of set outside the realm of the human drama that’s going on with the rest of the suspects, so I’m sure it’ll come into play because it’s a big part of who he is, obviously. It’s just a fact about his character.”
As for the rest of the ensemble, fans should not expect any other familiar faces for Johnson's next murder mystery.
When asked if she would return for Knives Out 3, Glass Onion actress Janelle Monáe said (via ET Canada) she "would be honored. But Rian is not going to cast you if you’ve already done ‘Knives Out’:"
“I would be honoured. But Rian is not going to cast you if you’ve already done ‘Knives Out’ with the exception of Daniel Craig, because he has to be the detective Benoit Blanc that comes in.”
And this is in line with Johnson's previous comments about the franchise.
Speaking with Variety in October 2022, Johnson compared the Knives Out series to the novels of Agatha Christie, with each Benoit Blanc mystery taking place "in a totally new location [with] a new cast:"
"If each one of these can really be what Agatha Christie did, if it can be not just in a totally new location and a new cast, but also trying something exciting, I'll keep doing it as long as Daniel and I are having a good time. I'll keep making these as long as they let me."
While the Knives Out 3 cast largely remains a mystery, given the star power of the past two films, fans should expect even more A-listers to fill out Johnson's next whodunnit.
What Will Happen in Knives Out 3?
One of the best parts of the Knives Out franchise is how standalone both previous films have been.
The only constant between these movies is Daniel Craig's Benoit Blanc and a case for the dynamic detective to crack. Because of this, it becomes difficult to predict where Knives Out 3 will go.
With some fans begging for the franchise to go more international and inhabit some exotic locale overseas, Johnson revealed the third movie will "be in America" (per Insider):
"I want it to be in America. There's a lot of tempting things of going to Paris or the Alps but I feel it's really important that these are American movies."
Glass Onion took place on a tropical island outside of American borders, so the filmmaker thinks it's important "[to bring] it back to somewhere a little closer to home:"
"Even with 'Glass Onion,' it's set overseas but it's a group of Americans who are trapped on an island together, so bringing it back to somewhere a little closer to home I think could be a good thing for the next one."
Knives Out star Chris Evan previously pitched an idea for a third movie, telling Comicbook.com (via Screen Rant) that he would love to see the cast of the first film return, with his character - who was proven to be the killer in that movie - reappearing with an "elaborate plan to actually take down Benoit Blanc:"
"It can't be like a redemption story. No one wants to see Ransom find redemption. Maybe he gets out of jail off of like some sort of like high priced lawyers loophole. But then like, maybe he goes good. Yeah, I mean, like Sideshow Bob, like runs for office. But it's an elaborate plan to actually take down Benoit Blanc and Marta. It's revenge in plain sight. You know what I mean?"
While it feels unlikely the whole cast of Knives Out 1 could reprise their roles in the upcoming threequel, Evans might be onto something.
During the first two movies, Benoit Blanc was never the one in the crosshairs of the killer.
So it could be an interesting twist (something the series has made its name on) to, instead of solving a murder that has already happened, have Craig's detective in Knives Out 3 hunting down the person who is trying to kill him.
Knives Out 3 currently has no confirmed release date.