"Knives Out": Rian Johnson Explains How "Bond" Delay Led to Daniel Craig Starring

As one of the most surprising hits of 2019, Knives Out became universally praised by critics and audiences alike. Rian Johnson had an all-star cast, but no specific idea on who to play the lead, Benoit Blanc. He spoke with The Hollywood Reporter how the film came together and how a stroke of luck landed him Daniel Craig. When Johnson wrote the script, he didn't have anyone specific in mind.

Rian Johnson
Editorial credit: Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com

Don't Get Your Hopes Up

Not when I was writing because when I'm writing, I've learned that you'll always get your heart broken if you have your eyes set on somebody because the schedule will always not work out or something will happen. So, I try to write with a blank slate, but then [Craig] was top of my list."

Much to Johnson's surprise, No Time to Die's delay worked in his favor.

"Then it was a very serendipitous moment when the Bond movie pushed three months. This was not like the injury he had; this was before that. It was just a logistic thing, they pushed their schedule, so he suddenly had a window open and we got in there right away and he said yes right away, and we were making the movie right away."

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Knives Out: Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc. Image courtesy Lionsgate
Despite developing the script of Knives Out over the course of 10 years, securing Craig and shooting was an easy transition.

"It was a very, very quick process. Essentially, I started writing in January, first draft in the summer, by September or so I had a finished draft, or a draft I was comfortable sending out. We went to Daniel Craig, he said yes and we were shooting the movie six weeks later. It was really, really quick."

How a "Knives Out" Sequel Would Work

As far as Johnson's approach to the film and any subsequent Benoit Blanc sequel, he wants the audience to "think of it just like another Hercule Poirot novel from Agatha Christie, so a whole new location, whole new cast."

Knives Out is currently available on digital and Blu-ray.

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About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangora. As a professional writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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