Rian Johnson reveals creative process behind Knives Out

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 3 January 2020
Rian Johnson

Rian Johnson

Rian Johnson did not read or watch any murder mysteries before making 'Knives Out'

Rian Johnson didn't watch or read any murder mysteries before writing and directing 'Knives Out'.

The 46-year-old filmmaker's whodunnit, which stars Daniel Craig as private detective Benoit Blanc, has been a critical and commercial success and Rian has revealed that he avoided dipping into the genre during his creative process because he didn't need to because he's been immersed in those stories since he was a child.

When asked if he had watched or read any whodunnits beforehand, he told Deadline: "Not really, because I have done that with whodunits. I've just been reading them since I was a kid, it's something that I always keep coming back to. I find it not useful to do research and read specific books.

"To me, it's more useful to blur my vision, and to think, in more general terms, about what I love about the genre – to almost create and idealised vision of what works about the genre for me, and then take that and set that as my goalpost."

The 46-year-old director was also adamant that he did not want 'Knives Out' to be a "patchwork" of other murder mysteries, which could have happened if he had immersed himself in those stories beforehand.

Rian explained: "Otherwise, there might be the danger of just creating a patchwork of stuff from other sources. For me, it's much more about getting at the heart of what about this genre really resonates for me."

As well as James Bond actor Daniel 'Knives Out' boasts an impressive ensemble cast that also includes Christopher Plummer, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Katherine Langford, Lakeith Stanfield and 'Captain America' actor Chris Evans.

Rian hopes to make several sequels to the movie and become the Agatha Christie of whodunnit films, with Blanc becoming a character who can match Christie's Hercule Poirot.

Speaking to BANG Showbiz, he previously said: "For me, I had so much fun doing this film with Daniel I would love to make another one of these. I would love to get together again with him and do another Benoit Blanc mystery.

"This could be a trilogy and beyond, I mean Agatha Christie didn't stop at a trilogy so let's keep making mysteries man."

As well as creating Poirot, late English writer Christie also gave the world Miss Marple and penned 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections during her life.

Knives Out

  • 4 stars
  • 2019
  • US
  • 2h 10min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Rian Johnson
  • Cast: Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell, Christopher Plummer
  • UK release: 27 November 2019

When mystery writer Harlan Thrombey (Plummer) is found with his throat slit, puffed-up private detective Benoit Blanc (Craig) gets on the case. A wickedly knowing, flamboyantly bitchy take on the whodunnit, with a great cast, bags of style and a splendidly outrageous comic turn from Craig. Bloody good fun.

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