‘Knives Out 3’ Cast Begins to Take Shape With Josh O’Connor and Cailee Spaeny

Production on Rian Johnson’s “Wake Up Dead Man: A Knives Out Mystery” begins soon

Josh O'Connor and Cailee Spaeny (Getty Images)

Another Benoit Blanc mystery is afoot, and the “Knives Out 3” cast is starting to take shape.

“Challengers” actor Josh O’Connor and “Priscilla” star Cailee Spaeny have joined the cast of Rian Johnson’s “Wake Up Dead Man: A Knives Out Mystery,” TheWrap has learned. Details about their roles are being kept under wraps, but they’ll be joined by Daniel Craig who reprises his role as private detective Blanc.

Johnson wrote and returns to direct the film, which he will also produce alongside Ram Bergman.

On Friday before the Memorial Day holiday, writer-director Rian Johnson shared the film’s title on X complete with a teaser for the upcoming movie. “I’m very, very excited to share the title, which gives a little hint of where it’s going,” Johnson wrote, revealing that the film will be released in 2025.

Production will begin soon on the follow-up to 2022’s “Glass Onion” and 2019’s “Knives Out,” both of which earned Oscar nominations for Johnson’s whodunit screenplays.

“In the beginning, the knives came out. Then behold, the glass was shattered,” Craig’s Blanc says in the teaser. “But my most dangerous case yet is about to be revealed.”

Written and directed by Johnson, “Knives Out” was released in 2019 by Lionsgate. The modern whodunit quickly became a success and was praised for its ensemble cast and tongue-in-cheek tone. The first movie made $312 million worldwide at the box office against a budget of roughly $40 million. It was also an awards darling and was nominated for three Golden Globes, a BAFTA and an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

Following the success of the first film, Netflix greenlit two additional sequels to be written and directed by Johnson for a reported $469 million.

That first sequel, “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” was released in 2022. The follow-up took Craig’s Benoit Blanc to the elaborate private island of a billionaire with an ensemble that included Janelle Monae, Edward Norton, Kate Hudson and Dave Bautista. The movie was given the widest theatrical release of any Netflix movie in history and was in theaters for a week.

While plot details for “Wake Up Dead Man” are under wraps, Johnson previously told TheWrap that every Benoit Blanc mystery would be about the “here and now,” touching on themes and issues relating to what’s happening in the world.

“That’s the whole kind of reason for being for them. I mean, they’ll all be completely different. Tonally they’ll be different, from the first one to kind of the bigger second one. The next one could go back to being cozy,” he said. “But that’s one thing that I think they’ll always have in common is they’ll always be set right here and right now and hopefully be kind of tapping into stuff that was on all of our minds.”

O’Connor first broke out playing the young Prince Charles on Netflix’s “The Crown,” for which he won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series at the 73rd Emmy Awards. He subsequently had a standout role in 2020’s “Emma.” and most recently starred in Luca Guadagnino’s “Challengers” opposite Zendaya and Mike Faist.

Spaeny’s first major role was in “Pacific Rim Uprising” but was a breakout in 2018’s “Bad Times at the El Royale” and went on to lead Alex Garland’s FX series “Devs.” She had a key role in the HBO drama series “Mare of Easttown” and recently earned acclaim starring in Sofia Coppola’s “Priscilla” as Priscilla Presley and costarred in Garland’s “Civil War” opposite Kirsten Dunst.

Spaeny also stars in the upcoming “Alien” sequel “Alien: Romulus,” which hits theaters this fall from 20th Century Studios.

O’Connor is repped by CAA and Independent Talent Group. Spaeny is repped by WME.

What’s on Netflix first reported the news.


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