Glass Onion's Rian Johnson Explains Why He's 'Pissed Off' About The Knives Out Sequel's Title

Jessica Henwick, Daniel Craig and Janelle Monae in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
(Image credit: Netflix)

Following its brief theatrical run at the end of November, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery premiered to Netflix subscribers this past weekend. Writer/director Rian Johnson re-teamed with Daniel Craig to deliver another mystery involving a colorful cast of characters for investigator Benoit Blanc to solve. Like its predecessor, Glass Onion has been met with a lot of positive reviews, but Johnson has shared that there’s a specific reason he’s “pissed off” about the Knives Out sequel.

Actually, the better term for Glass Onion’s relationship to Knives Out would be ‘follow-up,’ because aside from Benoit Blanc remaining the main protagonist, this is a self-contained story that can easily be enjoyed by people who didn’t see the first movie. To that end, during his conversation with The Atlantic, Rian Johnson talked about how he was displeased that A Knives Out Mystery was tacked on as Glass Onion’s subtitle, saying:

I’ve tried hard to make them self-contained. Honestly, I’m pissed off that we have A Knives Out Mystery in the title. You know? I want it to just be called Glass Onion. I get it, and I want everyone who liked the first movie to know this is next in the series, but also, the whole appeal to me is it’s a new novel off the shelf every time. But there’s a gravity of a thousand suns toward serialized storytelling.

On the one hand, as Rian Johnson noted, I understand why Netflix decided to include A Knives Out Mystery, as hearing Glass Onion alone might not be enough to tip off some people that this is another story starring Benoit Blanc. On the other hand, Johnson has repeatedly said how Agatha Christie’s works, specifically the adventures of Hercule Poirot, inspired what he delivered with Knives Out and Glass Onion, and each of those stories had their own standalone titles. Maybe a nice compromise would have been calling it Glass Onion: A Benoit Blanc Mystery, but then you run into the people who can’t remember the name of Daniel Craig’s character right off the bat.

While it would be nice for Netflix to drop the subtitle when the time comes to put Knives Out 3 together, considering how Rian Johnson feels about it, it’s likelier that the A Knives Out Mystery will be retained for the threequel. The important thing to remember is that Johnson will continue making these movies self-contained affairs. If you’re looking for any kind of serialized storyline featuring Benoit Blanc, this isn’t the film series for you. That being said, considering how much chatter there’s been about a certain cameo in Glass Onion, I wouldn’t mind seeing that person pop back in for Knives Out 3.

Glass Onion ended up making CinemaBlend’s list of the top 10 Netflix movies in 2022, so if you haven’t seen it already, you’d be wise to rectify that as soon as possible. Those of you who have seen Glass Onion should read our breakdown of how this murder mystery ended and the lineup of the movie’s most biggest and most shocking twists.

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.