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Lionsgate to Release Rian Johnson’s ‘Knives Out’ With MRC

”The Last Jedi“ director’s follow-up features a star-studded cast led by Daniel Craig

Lionsgate has claimed a share of the distribution rights to “Knives Out,” Rian Johnson’s upcoming murder mystery as part of a partnership with MRC, with a release set for Nov. 27, 2019.

Johnson’s follow-up to “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” features a stacked cast that includes Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Lakeith Stanfield, Michael Shannon, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Ana De Armas, Christopher Plummer, Don Johnson, and Katherine Langford.

MRC acquired the distribution rights at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, and will co-distribute the film with Lionsgate. Johnson will both write and direct, with longtime partner Ram Bergman producing.

“We’re very excited to be in production on Knives Out and can’t wait to bring it to the big screen with great partners like MRC and Lionsgate,” Johnson and Bergman said in a statement. “MRC put their trust in us when they first partnered with us on this film and Lionsgate truly champions and empowers the artist to tell the story they want to tell so we couldn’t be in better hands.”

“Knives Out redefines the detective movie genre in a cool and original way,” Lionsgate
Motion Picture Group chairman Joe Drake said. “With a superstar filmmaker, an amazing ensemble cast and the perfect partner in MRC, we can hardly wait to bring this big, crowd-pleasing property to a global audience next Thanksgiving.”

Lionsgate is looking for 2019 to be a big rebound from what has been one of the worst box office years in studio history. The studio has grossed only $385 million domestically this year. That’s down 55 percent from 2017 and the lowest for Lionsgate since 2011, the year before the studio released its most successful franchise, “The Hunger Games.” Lionsgate’s 2019 slate includes a reboot of “Hellboy,” the Seth Rogen/Charlize Theron comedy “Flarsky,” and the third installment of Keanu Reeves’ “John Wick” series.

“Knives Out” will be released on Thanksgiving weekend next year, with little competition currently set up against it. Disney will release the highly-anticipated “Frozen 2” a week prior, and the only other film currently slated for a Thanksgiving release is another crime film from Universal, “Queen & Slim,” starring Daniel Kaluuya.