Netflix has reportedly spent more than $ 450 million (roughly Rs 3,300 crore) to acquire the rights to Knives Out 2 and Knives Out 3, two sequels directed by Daniel Craig to the thriller of 2019 Oscar-nominated writer-director Rian Johnson. This makes it one of the biggest movie offerings not just for Netflix, but for any streaming service. Craig will reprise his lead role as private investigator Benoit Blanc, though the rest of the cast is original, in keeping with the case-by-case inspirations of Knives Out’s Agatha Christie. Casting is expected to begin shortly for Knives Out 2, which will begin filming on June 28 in Greece.
Deadline first announced Netflix’s Knives Out deal, noting it was worth over $ 400 million (roughly Rs 2,935), its sister publication Variety following a few minutes later with that figure of $ 450 million. Reports also confirm that there will be a Knives Out 3, given that only Knives Out 2 had already been officially announced – in February of last year. Although Netflix pays $ 450 million, that doesn’t give it the rights to the entire Knives Out franchise. Johnson and his production partner Ram Bergman have gone on to license Knives Out film by film.
Review: Knives Out is Agatha Christie’s love letter from the last Jedi director
The original Knives Out – released in November 2019 and starring Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford and Christopher Plummer – was produced by Media Rights Capital and distributed by Lionsgate. The first film cost only $ 40 million (around Rs 290 crore) and grossed $ 311.4 million (around Rs 2,290 crore) at the global box office. While the Netflix deal may seem like a huge one, an individual told Variety that it likely includes marketing budgets (which aren’t included in movie budgets).
And there’s also the matter of Craig’s fees. The James Bond star will finish his 007 run later in 2021 with No Time to Die – he would have done it already without COVID-19 – and Knives Out is giving him another franchise to move into. The sequels give actors the chance to negotiate higher salaries for future appearances, and Craig will likely do the same with Knives Out 2 and Knives Out 3. After all, Craig himself made $ 3 million (around Rs. 22 crores) on his first Bond film. Casino Royale, but raised over $ 20 million each (roughly Rs 150 crore) for Specter and No Time to Die.
Johnson, who was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay on Knives Out, is best known for writing and directing Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the eighth chapter in the decades-long Skywalker saga. He also directed the sci-fi thriller Looper with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis, and the neo-noir mystery Brick also starring Gordon-Levitt. In addition to Knives Out 2 and Knives Out 3, Johnson is still committed to a brand new trilogy set in the Star Wars galaxy.
Knives Out is exclusive to Lionsgate Play. Knives Out 2 and Knives Out 3 will naturally be exclusive to Netflix.
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