Apparently Daniel Craig And Rian Johnson Are Getting Huge Paydays For Knives Out's Netflix Deal

Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc in Knives Out

Following Knives Out’s critical and commercial success in theaters from late 2019 to early 2020, the next installments in Rian Johnson’s whodunit film series are heading to streaming. It was announced last week that Netflix was closing a deal somewhere in the $450 million range to acquire Knives Out 2 and Knives Out 3, beating out competitors like Apple and Amazon in a “discreet” auction. Once the deal goes through apparently Johnson and Daniel Craig, who plays investigator Benoit Blanc, will score major pay days.

In its deep-dive into the Knives Out film series setting up shop at Netflix, THR mentions that Rian Johnson and Daniel Craig, as well as Johnson’s producing partner Ram Bergman, could walk away with over $100 million each thanks to this deal, which the article specifically places at $469 million. It was also noted that Johnson will have “immense” creative control over the Knives Out sequels, and Netflix’s only “contingencies” were that Craig star in the movies and that they each must have at least the budget of the first Knives Out movie, i.e. around $40 million.

Knives Out was produced by MRC and distributed by Lionsgate, but Rian Johnson and Ram Bergman own and license the property. Although the duo are “big backers” of the theatrical experience, they decided to seek out streaming options for the next Knives Out movies because of the pandemic, which forced theaters across the world to shut their doors. Looking to start shooting Knives Out 2 this summer and questioning “the near-term viability of theatrical releasing,” Johnson and Bergman jumped on Netflix’s offer, and while MRC and Lionsgate might have scored the sequels during normal times, it wasn’t doable with the coronavirus still being an ongoing concern.

So now Netflix is the new home for the Knives Out franchise, with Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc investigating a new mystery with each passing movie. The plan now is for Knives Out 2 to begin shooting in Greece on June 28, with casting beginning immediately. Rian Johnson will, of course, reprise his writing and directing duties for both this next sequel and Knives Out 3. This is the latest big franchise Netflix has pulled into its library, and it’s no wonder why the platform was so eager to get into the Knives Out business given how well the first movie was received and its global haul of $311 million worldwide.

Now keep in mind, Knives Out 2 and Knives Out 3 won’t be entirely like their predecessor. Yes, Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc will be back to solve crimes with his unorthodox methodology, but it doesn’t look like any members of the Thrombey family will be back for the sequels. And on a slight tangent, no one let the person running the Knives Out Twitter account know about the deal, so it’s entirely possible if that social media page soon finds itself under new management, i.e. someone of Netflix’s choosing.

In any case, we’ll keep you apprised on any developments concerning the Knives Out franchise, but if you’re keen on seeing more of Benoit Blanc in action, make sure you’re subscribed to Netflix. Speaking of which, don’t forget to look through our guide detailing what the streaming service will upload later this month.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.