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Daniel Craig, Rian Johnson Murder Mystery Sells to MRC

MRC has agreed to fully finance “Knives Out,” a murder mystery starring Daniel Craig, Variety has confirmed. The movie brings together the James Bond star with Rian Johnson, the director of “The Last Jedi.”

“Knives Out” moved up on Craig’s dance card after creative differences between the actor and director Danny Boyle forced a behind-the-camera change on Bond 25. Shooting on a new 007 adventure has been delayed until a new filmmaker can be found to replace Boyle.

The MRC deal is for the world and the film is set to begin shooting in November. The company will presumably have to later find a distribution partner to release the picture. CAA Media Finance and FilmNation auctioned the property, which was considered to be one of the hotter packages available at this year’s festival.

Despite the interest in the project, Craig has never really been much of a box office draw outside of the James Bond franchise. He scored respectable reviews for “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” but the David Fincher film’s $232.6 million global haul was a disappointment considering its $90 million production budget. Other Craig vehicles such as “The Invasion,” “Cowboys & Aliens,” and “The Golden Compass” were commercial and critical duds.

Johnson had a major hit with “The Last Jedi.” The science-fiction sequel grossed $1.3 billion despite some gripes from purists that it deviated too dramatically from Star Wars orthodoxy. His other credits include “Looper” and “Brick.”

“Knives Out” is being described as a “modern-day murder mystery in the classic whodunit style.” Craig will play a detective trying to solve a crime.

MRC is a film and television production company. Past projects for the company include “The Dark Tower,” “Ozark,” “House of Cards,” and “Baby Driver.”

Johnson and Bergman are represented by CAA and attorney Stephen Clark. Craig is represented by CAA, Sally Long-Innes at Independent Talent and his attorney Doug Stone.

Deadline first reported the MRC deal.

VARIETY PORTRAIT STUDIO AT TIFF

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