Picking your battles is an important life lesson for anyone, but that probably goes double for filmmakers. Netflix’s acquisition of the sequels to “Knives Out” certainly gave Rian Johnson all sorts of creative freedom to do whatever he wanted, but that didn’t quite apply to certain aspects such as the weirdly aborted theatrical rollout and, more relevantly, the actual title. Netflix may have gotten its way, but Johnson is making it known that there’s a better option.
In a recent appearance on The Filmcast podcast, the director opened up about how “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” came about and why he understood the reasoning behind such a clunky title:
“The thing is, though, I totally get it. It’s not like this was done against my will or something. I completely understand it. Because after the first movie, I think people knew that they liked ‘Knives Out’ [but] they didn’t necessarily know it well enough to know who Benoit Blanc was. I think that would’ve gotten blank stares. And I wanted everyone who loved ‘Knives Out’ to know that [‘Glass Onion’] is the next one of those. So I absolutely 100% was on board and totally got it that we had to do that. But also, it kills me a little bit and I want to see how quickly we can lose that subtitle.”
As always, Rian Johnson gets it. As many fans know, this franchise was modeled after prolific author Agatha Christie’s Hercules Poirot series. Naturally, the director draws a comparison that this title convention would’ve been akin to naming Christie’s most famous story, “Murder on the Orient Express: A Mysterious Affair at Styles Mystery,” an allusion to the preceding book. But if Johnson gets his way, we may be in for another title change.