After delivering the polarizing Star Wars: The Last Jedi to the public, filmmaker Rian Johnson turned his attention to a mystery tale that he’d first thought up over a decade: Knives Out. The whodunit flick, which saw Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc investigating a prosperous, yet dysfunctional family about the death of its patriarch, hit theaters in November 2019 and was a critical and commercial hit. So unsurprisingly, Knives Out 2 was officially greenlit just a few months later, and now we’re learning who will make up the cast of the sequel that Johnson returned to write and direct.
Before going further, it should be noted that if you were expecting Knives Out 2 to involve the Thrombey family again, toss those hopes aside. Benoit Blanc will investigate a new mystery featuring an assortment of new colorful characters. So let’s go over who’s participating in this latest caper, starting with the man who anchors what’s now a film series.
While most people know Daniel Craig for his outings as James Bond and from dramas like Defiance and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Daniel Craig also has plenty of experience with more lighthearted fare, such as Logan Lucky and hosting Saturday Night Live twice. Knives Out definitely fell into the latter category, with Craig adopting a ridiculous Southern accent to bring Benoit Blanc to life. But silly voice aside, Blanc proved himself a skilled detective as he peeled back the layers of Harlan Thrombey’s sudden demise. It hasn’t been revealed yet what kind of mystery he’ll be solving in Knives Out 2, but naturally we can count on Blanc eventually uncovering the truth of what’s happening this time around.
There’s no question that Dave Bautista acting career skyrocketed after debuting as Drax the Destroyer in Guardians of the Galaxy, but the WWE star has been scored plenty of other notables projects beyond his work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. From Spectre (which marked the first time he worked with Daniel Craig) and Blade Runner 2049 to forthcoming offerings like Army of the Dead and Dune, Bautista has firmly cemented himself as a movie star. He’s now lined up to take part in Knives Out 2, though no details about his character have been revealed yet.
Like Dave Bautista, Edward Norton is an MCU alum, having played Bruce Banner in The Incredible Hulk. In recent years though, Norton has starred in movies like Birdman, Alita: Battle Angel, Motherless Brooklyn (which he also directed, wrote and produced) and the upcoming The French Dispatch, another collaboration with director Wes Anderson. Knives Out 2 will be Norton’s first time sharing the screen with Daniel Craig, so I’m interested to see what kind of dynamic these two will have.
While she’s primarily known as an accomplished singer and song writer, Janelle Monáe also has some acting experience under her belt, including movies like Hidden Figures and Antebellum, and TV shows like Phillip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams and Homecoming. As far as her role in Knives Out 2 is concerned, sources who spoke with THR’s Borys Kit say Monáe could be playing someone similar to Ana de Armas or LaKeith Stanfield’s characters from the first Knives Out. That’s a lot of room to work with considering how drastically different those two roles were, so I’m curious to see how Monáe ends up fitting into the Knives Out 2 picture.
Kathryn Hahn’s been professionally acting for over 20 years, but the last several years have seen her soar to new heights of fame. Whether it’s starring in the Bad Moms movies with Mila Kunis and Kristen Bell, causing trouble as Agatha Harkness in Disney+’s WandaVision or delving into dramatic territory with Mark Ruffalo in HBO’s I Know This Much Is True, Hahn has shown time and time again how much range she has. As for her how she fits into Knives Out 2, that remains to be seen, though it’s easy enough to imagine her playing someone who carries a dark secret.
Leslie Odom Jr.
In the wake of his breakout performance as Aaron Burr in Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton, Leslie Odom Jr. has had no shortage of work opportunities, delivering excellent turns in movies like Harriet and One Night In Miami... He has a long list of developing projects, and one of them has been confirmed to be Knives Out 2. He is a star who has range that dictates he could play either a good guy or a villain in any story, so it will definitely be interesting to see the way in which Rian Johnson utilizes him in the mystery plot.
Following a four-year break from film work, Kate Hudson returned to the theatrical realm earlier this year in the Sia-directed Music. With her other upcoming movies, Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon and Shriver, in post-production, Knives Out 2 is the next movie Hudson has lined up to shoot. It’s hard to say how she fits into the mystery that Benoit Blanc is solving, but it’s easy enough to imagine her either being directly involved with the crime that was committed or simply someone who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
If the name Madelyn Cline rings a bell, you’re most likely familiar with her as Sarah Cameron from the Netflix series Outer Banks. Or maybe you caught one of her recurring gigs on shows like Vice Principals, The Originals or Stranger Things. In any case, now Cline’s keeping her relationship with Netflix going by getting in on the Knives Out 2 fun, though we’ll have to wait and see how she comes onto Benoit Blanc’s radar.
Unlike the first Knives Out, which was theatrically released by Lionsgate, both Knives Out 2 and Knives Out 3 are going to Netflix, and the former movie will begin shooting in Greece in late June. Keep checking back with CinemaBlend to learn who else will appear in Knives Out 2, as well as any other significant news about the sequel.