‘Knives Out’ sequel ‘Glass Onion’: What to know from the premiere

In the identical theater, in the identical Saturday time slot, the place “Knives Out” premiered in 2019, this 12 months’s Toronto Worldwide Movie Competition unveiled “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,’ the latest film from writer-director Rian Johnson.

Before the film began, Johnson — who earned an Oscar nomination for original screenplay for “Knives Out,” which got here into TIFF with constructive buzz however exploded right into a sleeper hit when it was launched two months later — exhorted the enthusiastic crowd with, “Are you guys ready to have a good time? Are you ready for a fun whodunit?”

The sequel is full of mysteries inside mysteries — even who dies could be an even bigger shock than who the killer is and we wouldn’t dare spoil any it. What might be mentioned is that the movie is about very particularly within the early days of the pandemic in 2020 as eccentric tech billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton) invitations a bunch of previous associates to his personal island for a weekend-long homicide thriller social gathering. Virtually instantly issues don’t go as deliberate. Additionally attending are characters performed by Dave Bautista, Madelyn Cline, Daniel Craig, Kathryn Hahn, Jessica Henwick, Kate Hudson, Janelle Monáe and Leslie Odom Jr.

After the screening, Johnson got here again out alongside together with his longtime producer Ram Bergman and forged members Craig, Monáe, Hudson, Hahn, Norton, Odom, Henwick and Cline.

Who’s again?

Whereas Ana De Armas doesn’t return — although there’s a efficiency which will stand out for “Glass Onion” audiences simply as De Armas did in “Knives Out” — Craig may be very a lot again as Benoit Blanc, celebrated because the world’s biggest detective. Blanc’s thick, delightfully hammy Southern accent fortunately returns as nicely, as does his specific means with phrases. As he says at one level within the movie, it’s all fairly “compelling.”

The movie is full of small cameos that shouldn’t be given away, however it may be famous that Johnson’s common gamers Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Noah Segan are each again. (However you need to hear for Gordon-Levitt.)

And another we’ll reveal due to what Johnson shared after the screening: legendary Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim, who’s on a Zoom with Blanc early within the movie (together with three different celebrities we’ll depart it to you to find). It’s no coincidence that the one produced screenplay Sondheim ever wrote was for the 1973 movie “The Last of Sheila,” co-written with Anthony Perkins, of which Johnson is an avowed fan. “Sheila” is about an eccentric who invitations his associates to a homicide thriller social gathering that goes off the rails. (Sound acquainted?)

Sondheim, who died in November, was additionally referenced in “Knives Out.” Requested in regards to the famed composer’s cameo, Johnson mentioned, “He was incredibly game for it and was so lovely. For me, I’m so happy he’s here in the movie. I’m even more happy that I got 10 minutes on a Zoom with him just to tell him how much his work meant to me.”

(L-R) Kate Hudson as Birdie, Leslie Odom Jr. as Lionel, Kathryn Hahn as Claire, Edward Norton as Myles, Jessica Henwick as Peg, Madelyn Cline as Whiskey, and Dave Bautista as Duke in ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”

(John Wilson / Netflix)

Is there a new cable-knit sweater?

Fans of “Knives Out” went wild for a cable-knit sweater worn by Chris Evans, and there will certainly be people scouring the new film for new looks. With costume design again being handled by Jenny Eagan, who worked on “Knives Out,” there are many standout outfits in the film, including Dave Bautista’s combination swimsuit/gun holster and a shimmering multicolored dress worn by Kate Hudson that is part of a key moment.

But the real winner is likely Craig’s summer vacation outfits, done in pale pastels and with jaunty neck kerchiefs that may actually be an emulatable style. His two-piece swimming pool outfit with bold blue and white stripes may be a tougher look for anyone else to pull off.

What does that title mean?

At one point Blanc says, “I like the glass onion as a metaphor.” While the title “Glass Onion” indeed refers to the 1968 song of the same name by the Beatles — there is another Beatles song referred to in the movie and made into a wicked punch line — it is also a location in the movie. Two locations to be exact: A bar where the group of old friends used to hang out has the name, as does the office/central creative hive that Bron builds at his Mediterranean estate.

Johnson revealed that the exteriors to the film were shot at the Villa 20 resort in Greece while stage work was done in Belgrade, Serbia. “Glass Onion” reunites Johnson with production designer Rick Heinrichs, who also worked on Johnson’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”

In a recent interview, Johnson described the title by saying, “I’m always fishing for something fun that Blanc can grab onto as an overwrought metaphor that he can beat to death. This is all in plain sight from the very start. So, the idea of glass came to me, something that’s clear. I’ll be very honest. I literally got out my iPhone and searched my music library with the word glass. ‘There’s got to be some good glass songs.’ I was like, ‘Oh, is it a glass fortress? Is it a glass castle? Is it a glass man?’ The first thing that came up, because I’m a huge Beatles fan, is ‘Glass Onion.’ ”

Janelle Monae as Andi in 'Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery."

Janelle Monae as Andi in ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.”

(John Wilson / Netflix)

What’s completely different?

Whereas there are many similarities between the 2 movies — most notably their lampooning of the rich — “Glass Onion” very a lot has its personal distinctive really feel.

Requested to explain the distinction between “Knives Out” and the brand new movie, Johnson mentioned, “There wasn’t like one big thing. I mean obviously the setting and the fact that you go from cozy New England to Greece was a big obvious one. To me the bigger thing was just that it had a very different narrative gambit to it and that it was trying something different and unique and that tonally, I was gonna kind of go where the characters led me — which, given the characters in the movie, ended up to a slightly bigger place.”

“Well, maybe the actors,” interrupted Norton, to a giggle from Johnson.

“So no, it wasn’t one specific thing,” continued Johnson, “It was less like lashing myself to the mast of ‘this has to be different.’ I don’t think I would be creatively excited about just redoing the first. So it was giving myself the freedom to make it different, to make it creatively exciting to do.”

What’s subsequent?

Whereas Monáe referenced the homicide thriller events the forged would typically have collectively throughout manufacturing and emphasised the camaraderie that emerged amongst all of them, Craig famous, “We had a great time, but we didn’t make it for ourselves. We made it for you.”

Johnson picked up that thread when he answered a query by saying, “I think nobody is smarter than the audience and I think it’s a fools’ game to try and out outsmart an audience. I think the thing is to take people on the ride and take them on a roller coaster ride as opposed to seeing it as a chess game.

“And that’s what we try and do with these movies. They’re whodunits, but at the end of the day, they’re movies and movies are there for us not to sit there and puzzle over what the solution is, movies are there to see with a big crowd and have a blast.”

The brand new movie is being launched by Netflix, who in a blockbuster deal paid for 2 motion pictures. (The movie is scheduled to go on the platform on Dec. 23, with a theatrical launch date nonetheless to be introduced.) So to a query from the viewers as as to whether there might be one other film, producer Bergman answered with an emphatic “Yes.”

Earlier, Craig had mentioned of Johnson, “I’d work with this man for the rest of my life.”

Johnson mentioned, “I’m gonna keep making these until Daniel blocks me on his phone.”