In March, Netflix bought the rights to Knives Out 2 and Knives Out 3 for an impressive $450 million, and writer-director Rian Johnson is wasting no time building out another astonishing cast to join star Daniel Craig in the sequels. The cast of the first Knives Out would, on the surface, seem hard to top: Jamie Lee Curtis! Chris Evans! Toni Collette! Don Johnson! Michael Shannon! LaKeith Stanfield! Christopher Plummer!
But Johnson, as always, knows what he’s doing. His every film is perfectly cast: Think Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Brick, or Rachel Weisz having fun in The Brothers Bloom, or Laura Dern as a Resistance leader in The Last Jedi. Our faith is not misplaced.
Here’s who’s signed up so far. Murderers? Victims? Not-so-innocent bystanders? That, we’ll have to wait to find out.
First up: Dave Bautista. Was this announced first because Bautista’s Army of the Dead—also a Netflix film—is just around the corner? Who can say. Bautista has been quite busy playing Drax the Destroyer in both Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. III and Thor: Love and Thunder. If I had to guess, I’d say Johnson may cast him against type. He can’t not be big and muscle-bound, but can he be slick and suave? Gentle as a kitten? Possibly!
Next: Edward Norton. What’s the last movie you saw Norton in? Was it Birdman? Did people watch Motherless Brooklyn? He’s been a little under the radar for a bit, but Norton’s resume is still pretty stacked. (It’s very difficult, in the wake of Hannibal, to remember he once played Will Graham.) He’s in his third Wes Anderson movie, the upcoming The French Dispatch, this summer.
Lucky number three: Janelle Monáe. Cast her in everything, as every part. (Some of us feel very strongly that she is the only person who could possibly fill David Bowie’s shoes, should a Labyrinth remake ever get off the ground.) Most recently, the multitalented icon was in Antebellum and the TV series Homecoming, though arguably her best-known role was in Hidden Figures. But she’s been playing characters since her debut EP, Metropolis: The Chase Suite, which is fantastic.
It was Kathryn Hahn all along: Can you imagine Daniel Craig and Kathryn Hahn going toe to toe, him the detective, her the secret-keeping wildcard? Or the totally ordinary neighbor who’s not ordinary at all? Delicious. Also she’d probably eat him for lunch. Hahn’s Agatha got a raw deal in WandaVision, but if that’s the only thing you’ve seen her in, please, go forth and enjoy more of her work. Mrs. Fletcher doesn’t fully land, but she’s perfect in it. Bad Moms? I Love Dick? I Know This Much Is True? Just pick one and start.
The latest addition: Leslie Odom Jr. The recent double Oscar nominee (for Last Night in Miami) is the most recent announcement for Johnson’s cast. Like Monáe, he’s multitalented; those two Oscar nominations were for Best Supporting Actor and Best Song, and his performance in Hamilton won him a Tony. Is this going to be … a musical murder mystery? The only thing anyone knows about the plot is, well, absolutely nothing. Knives Out 2 is set to start filming this summer in Greece.