Considering all the critical acclaim and accolades Knives Out received (including a Best Original Screenplay nomination at the Academy Awards) and how it hauled in over $300 million worldwide, it’s hardly surprising that Lionsgate has decided to begin development on a sequel. Just like with the first movie, Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blance will be overseeing this next cinematic investigation, but that doesn’t mean director and writer Rian Johnson plans to shed a lot of light on the character’s background in Knives Out 2.
You'll recall that in the early 1990s, a TV series aired called The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles aired that showed the famed fedora-wearing, whip-cracking archaeologist getting into adventures in his younger years. At a time when a fourth Indiana Jones movie wasn’t on the horizon, this show provided more content for fans who couldn’t get enough of the character Harrison Ford originated. Where Knives Out 2 is concerned, some fans had speculated if the sequel could also take a prequel-y approach and explore Benoit Blanc’s origins.
Don’t count on it, as Rian Johnson told Vulture that Knives Out 2 will not “dig too deeply” into Benoit Blanc’s backstory. He compared Blanc to Agatha Christie’s famed detective Hercule Poirot, who appeared in numerous stories and solved crime across the globe, but readers never learned too much about his past or personal life. Johnson continued:
This’ll be another Poirot novel. This’ll be just like what Agatha Christie did. It’s disconnected from Knives Out. It’s just another case.
While Daniel Craig obviously received plenty of screen time in Knives Out, during the course of his investigation into novelist Harlan Thrombey’s murder, there were really only two key thing we learned about Benoit Blanc… besides the fact that he’s a human Foghorn Leghorn. One, his professional reputation was established by a New Yorker article called “The Last of the Gentleman Sleuths.” Two, his father, a police detective, was professionally connected to Thrombey.
As Rian Johnson also mentioned, he deliberately steered clear of revealing a lot of information about Benoit Blanc. While he admits that getting “little tantalizing details” are fun, he also acknowledged that there’s a “tendency to mistake backstory for character,” and with so many important players involved in the two-hour-long Knives Out, screen time was a valuable commodity.
That’s not to say that Knives Out 2 couldn’t provide a few other tidbits concerning Benoit Blanc, but that won’t be the focus of the story. Just like Hercule Poirot did in tales like Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile, Blanc will come in to peel back the layers of a new mystery, and it’s more important that we see him finding the culprit(s) rather than learn what his childhood was like, akin to what was done with Indiana Jones. Now, if Johnson eventually decides to make The Young Benoit Blanc Chronicles, that’s a different story.
At the beginning of January, Rian Johnson confirmed he was writing Knives Out 2, and a month later, Lionsgate officially gave the project the green light. When asked how far along he is on the script, Johnson responded:
Not far enough, is the perpetual answer. I’m in the middle of it right now. Just kind of … I don’t know … working on it.
And in case this wasn’t clear already with the comparisons to Hercule Poirot, Knives Out 2 will see Benoit Blanc investigating a mystery not connected in any way to his time with the Thrombey family and associates. Who will the suspects be in this new case? That remains to be seen.
Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates on how Knives Out 2 is coming along. In the meantime, keep track of what movies are hitting the big screen later this year with our 2020 release schedule.