Netflix will buy the rights to produce two sequels to “Knives Out” with director Rian Johnson and star Daniel Craig set to return to the franchise.
An individual tells TheWrap the deal for the second and third films is worth more than $400 million, while another individual says reported figures are inaccurate.
The original “Knives Out,” a murder mystery in the vein of an Agatha Christie whodunit that was released in 2019, was an acquisition as part of a single picture deal with Media Rights Capital (MRC) and was released by Lionsgate. It made over $311 million worldwide on a budget of $40 million. The film rights were owned by Johnson and producing partner Ram Bergman.
The “Knives Out” sequels have casting underway, and production hopes to begin in Greece in late June, though dates and exact location have not been set in stone as the project is still in the early days. Johnson had previously joked a sequel to “Knives Out” would be set in space.
The deal is one of the largest for a streamer in history, and it provides Netflix a franchise as competition in the streaming space has increased dramatically over the last few months.
The original “Knives Out” starred Craig as detective Benoit Blanc investigating the death of the wealthy author Harlan Thrombey (played by the late Christopher Plummer in one of his last roles). It boasted an impressive cast that included Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Michael Shannon, Toni Collette, LaKeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford and Jaedan Martell, all of whom compose Harlan’s family of money and power hungry heirs. Johnson also scored an Oscar nomination for Best Origianl Screenplay for his work.
Prior to “Knives Out,” Rian Johnson directed “Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi.” Daniel Craig will next be seen in the upcoming James Bond film “No Time to Die,” his final stint in the franchise.
Both Johnson and Craig are represented by CAA.
Deadline first reported the news.