‘Knives Out’ Footage Showcases Rian Johnson’s Mystery Movie Follow-Up to ‘The Last Jedi’ [CinemaCon 2019]
Posted on Thursday, April 4th, 2019 by /Film Staff
Rian Johnson is following up Star Wars: The Last Jedi with Knives Out, a star-studded mystery movie that released its first footage to the crowd at CinemaCon. According to Johnson himself, Knives Out is a tribute to the locked-room mysteries of Agatha Christie, with Daniel Craig’s Detective Benoit Blanc meant to evoke Christie’s Hercule Poirot.
Ready to piece together the clues and solve the Knives Out footage reaction mystery? To make Knives Out, Rian Johnson has assembled one of the coolest casts in recent memory: Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Lakeith Stanfield, Michael Shannon, Ana de Armas, Don Johnson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette and Christopher Plummer.
“I had a blast, man, that was so much fun,” Michael Shannon told /Film. “It’s a murder-mystery movie, and I’ve never done one of those, you know, good old-fashioned kind of Agatha Christie-type things with a big cast. All the characters are kind of eccentric and whatnot. Yeah, it was a lot of fun. Also, Rian is a super, super sweet guy.”
Director Rian Johnson was on hand at CinemaCon to present footage, telling the crowd he wanted to take everything he loved “about an Agatha Christie story, mashed-up with a Hitchcock thriller and an all-star cast, set it in modern America.” The clip was set in a big mansion, as most Agatha Christe-style mysteries are. A family has gathered to celebrate their father’s birthday, but the festivities are cut-short when the father is murdered.
Enter two cops, played by Daniel Craig and Lakeith Stanfield, asking the family if they can stay until the investigation is done. Added bonus: Craig is using a Southern accent. Michael Shannon’s character is furious for the suggestion that one of the family members would be involved in the crime. But Chris Evans, another member of the family, tells his relatives to “eat shit.”
From here we get a montage showing off the ensemble cast, along with a shot of a spider on a woman’s face, a Molotov cocktail thrown through a window, and Craig dramatically saying, “I suspect foul play!” Here, Craig flips a coin, and says: “This is a twisted web and we are not finished untangling it, not yet.”
Everything here looked great, full of visual style and dialogue that popped. It looks like Rian Johnson has another winner on his hands.
Dysfunctional Family Whodunnit ‘Knives Out’ Flies High For Lionsgate At CinemaCon by Anthony D'Alessandro and Nancy Tartaglione
April 4, 2019 3:25pm
Lionsgate didn’t show off Rambo: Last Blood or give a title to Jay Roach’s Roger Ailes movie, but they did show off Rian Johnson’s Thanksgiving American whodunnit Knives Out which is kinetic and fantastic. The pic follows a dysfunctional family in suspect.
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Lots of Knives in the trailer of course overcast skies, old mansion, wooden bookshelves, screams and black comedy.
On hand to introduce the clip was pic’s stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Ana de Armas as well as director/writer Rian Johnson. Curtis said onstage, “Like all families, they end up hating each other by the end.”
Johnson introduced a clip, “Before I get back to a franchise in a galaxy far, far away” saying he has been a die-hard Agatha Christie fan since he was a teenager and the whodunit is a “genre I deeply deeply love”
For Knives Out, he “attempted to take everything I love about a good Agatha Christie and jam it with an all-star cast”
De Amas’ character is “the true moral center of this cast of lunatics” said Curtis.
In the trailer, Curtis’ matriarch tells Craig, “You know something — spill it.”
“I suspect foul play,” says Craig, “and I have eliminated no suspects.”
Evans asks him, mocking the accent, “What is this? CSI: KFC”
In the Media Rights Capital ensemble production,Craig plays a detective (with a southern accent) who is investigating the death of a family patriarch (Christopher Plummer). Chris Evans, Lakeith Stanfield, Don Johnson, Michael Shannon and Toni Collette also star.
Curtis’ character is married to Johnson’s and Evans is their son (who in the footage spends a fair bit of time telling his other family members to “eat sh*t”). The trailer played to Paul McCartney and Wings’ “Live And Let Die”
Rian Johnson’s ‘Knives Out’ Footage Premiered at CinemaCon And It Looks Awesome Mike Ryan 04.04.19
Sweet relief, the last CinemaCon panel is over. This is it! No more of these posts! My big takeaway from CinemaCon – again, a convention for theater owners – is, according to the speeches, every movie studio is about to have a banner year and streaming services aren’t a threat at all. Alright then!
Enough of that, let’s get into the Lionsgate presentation of Knives Out, Rian Johnson’s whodunnit film featuring an all-star cast – Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Evans, Lakeith Stanfield, Ana de Armas, and on and on – that he’s sandwiching in-between Star Wars: The Last Jedi and his upcoming, still unknown Star Wars films.
Look, I’m tired and cranky. I want to go home. The evidence of this is in that first paragraph I wrote. But, the premiere of the Knives Out footage got me going. It made me happy. I didn’t think that was possible right now. This movie looks like a whole heck of a lot of fun.
Introducing the film, Johnson said it was influenced by his love of Agatha Christie novels. So he wanted to make a movie like that, with a lot of characters and a plot twist, and set it in the United States. The footage starts with a death of a family patriarch (Christopher Plummer) at his own 85th birthday party. Everyone in attendance is a suspect. Daniel Craig plays a detective who is going to solve the crime and informs the suspects they are not allowed to leave the house until his investigation is over.
Honestly, it feels like a cool, stylized, gritty Clue. Though, still with a lot of comedy. My favorite part of the trailer is when the murder is being described and we hear that one high chilling piano note we see in pretty much every movie trailer today that’s trying to set that mood. Only here, the camera then pans back to Craig, who is sitting at the piano playing that note. This is one of those movies where everyone in the cast is just going for it. Daniel Craig is playing a wacky character!
The footage was set to Paul McCartney’s “Live and Let Die,” which who knows if that will still be used when this is all released, but it’s effective. But, anyway, yes, I’m in for a cool Clue. That should be the new name of the movie, Cool Clue.
And that’s it. My CinemaCon is over. Now, thankfully, I will never have to watch a movie trailer ever again.
‘Joker,’ ‘Knives Out’ and three more 2019 movies we’re excited to see after CinemaCon
There are plenty of films that Hollywood studios want the crowds at CinemaCon to like. They’re often the titles positioned toward the end of the flashy annual presentations each movie company puts on for theater owners. The films whose questionable quality studios hope to distract from by trotting out charming stars such as Dwayne Johnson and John Cena. The ones you hear a lot of hype about on stage but don’t actually see a lot of preview footage from on the big screen at Caesars Palace’s Colosseum.
After four days in Las Vegas, we’ve heard the hard sells for dozens of films that Warner Bros., Universal, Disney (and its newly acquired Fox assets), Paramount, Lionsgate and STX plan to release in 2019. (Sony was the only major studio that didn’t present to exhibitors during the annual convention in Sin City.) But now that the casino smoke has cleared from our eyes, we’ll take a stab at predicting five titles that will actually be worth your time at the cinema this year.
And just for the record, we’re not including any movies that screened in-full during CinemaCon following earlier film festival premieres — Amazon’s “Late Night,” Warner Bros. “Blinded By the Light,” Neon’s “Wild Rose” or Lionsgate’s “Long Shot” — only the projects still too under-wraps to reveal in full to audiences.
5. “Knives Out” (Lionsgate, Nov. 27)
Though he first broke out with the indie noir “Brick” in 2005, Rian Johnson has been playing in the big leagues for years. He directed 2017’s “Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi” and has been tapped to write another trilogy in the franchise for Lucasfilm.
Despite those quite hefty commitments, Johnson took time last year to work on more of a passion project: “Knives Out,” a black comedy, whodunnit mystery with an all-star ensemble cast. As a “die-hard Agatha Christie fan” since he was a teenager, Johnson said he wanted to channel the author’s “sharply drawn characters, suspense, [and] humor” into a screenplay.
Jamie Lee Curtis, who leads the cast, accompanied Johnson to Vegas to describe the film as “a family gathering that turns bloody very quickly. These people put the ‘diss’ in ‘dysfunctional,’ which should play very well this Thanksgiving,” the “Halloween” star said.
The film is a mystery in which a family is trying to uncover how its patriarch (Christopher Plummer) suddenly dropped dead after his 85th birthday. LaKeith Stanfield and Daniel Craig — with a Southern accent! — are the investigators looking into the crime, while the family members are played by the likes of Toni Collette, Don Johnson, Michael Shannon and Chris Evans.
Evans especially looks like the one to watch here — newly free from his Captain America suit and looking quite comfortable cursing up a storm and playing against type.