Fans of the murder mystery genre were thrilled to see writer/director Rian Johnson bring back the classic whodunnit caper his film Knives Out. With such a success at the box office now yielding two sequels headed to Netflix, the time for shooting the first of those Daniel Craig-fronted sequels is drawing ever closer. With that occasion has come a fan suggestion that Johnson bring back a classic mystery movie device, which the director gave a hearty thumbs up to: the “Whodunnit Break!”
Ever the fan of the classics (while also drawing them in a more modern light), Rian Johnson recently shared a fan’s request to bring back the Whodunnit Break in Knives Out 2. Through a Twitter exchange that referenced classics like The Beast Must Die for pioneering the practice, Johnson boosted that particular signal on his Twitter feed. Even better, he approved of the practice enthusiastically, courtesy of the following message:
What Exactly Is A Whodunnit Break?
So what’s a Whodunnit Break, you might be asking? Well, let’s pretend for a moment that you and your friends are out to see a screening of Knives Out 2. Daniel Craig and his deliciously hysterical accent have laid out a bunch of clues in the usual drawing room scene, where all of the suspects are gathered and their potential motives are laid out. With the cast that’s been amassed for Rian Johnson’s sequel, it's going to take quite a bit of guess work to get through the full list of suspects?
Imagine that just as Benoit Blanc is about to spill the beans about who actually killed the victim of the next Knives Out mystery, the movie takes a break to let you figure out the mystery. That moment is what would be called a Whodunnit Break, and there’s actually a perfect example that exists to illustrate just what this pause in the action would entail. Take a look at the Whodunnit Break from 1965’s adaptation of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, which went by the book’s original title:
Some might think that introducing a Whodunnit Break to Knives Out 2 would be a move as quaint as that time Quentin Tarantino put an intermission into the roadshow version of The Hateful Eight. Honestly, I feel the old-timey charm in such a thing is what would make it work. Much as Rian Johnson brought back the old-school whodunnit caper in living, breathing color, adding on a short break where Daniel Craig implores the audience to catch up to his thinking would probably make for one hell of a perfect moment, which would hopefully be followed quickly by the whole theater engaging in some amateur sleuthing, of course.
There’s no clue as to where the Netflix sequel will be going, or what its real title will be when it ultimately gets to that point in production. Currently, we know Knives Out 2 is set to kick off in Greece this summer, which means we should be learning more soon. Though if there does happen to be a Whodunnit Break, let’s hope it’s because these Benoit Blanc mysteries have also made it into a theater near you.