You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Oscar Nominee Rian Johnson on ‘Knives Out’ Sequel and His Future With ‘Star Wars’

Among the many twists and turns in his thoroughly modern whoddunnit, “Knives Out” writer-director-producer Rian Johnson can count one more — an Oscar nomination for best original screenplay.

“Im blown away, man. We just set out to make a fun movie that audiences could enjoy,” Johnson told Variety in the very early hours of Monday morning. “We never imagined we’d be in a conversation like this.”

A sharp and darkly funny take on the detective thrillers, the Lionsgate release has generated more than $250 million in worldwide box office grosses to date. His heavyweight ensemble cast was led by Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis and Chris Evans — the quality of which he credits to the small production window and luck.

“Part of what helped [pull together this ensemble] was the speed — Daniel Craig had a very tight window to shoot before Bond. It was literally, ‘Can you come to Boston in two weeks and shoot this?” Johnson says.

Only a week ago, reports hit that Johnson is exploring a sequel that would follow Craig’s detective character, an intensely Southern-accented sleuth Benoit Blanc.

“I’m always kind of saying, ‘If this movie does all right, I would be thrilled to another one.’ But a lot has to happen. I have to write a script. The fun thing is thinking about it in the context of Agatha Christie and Poirot or Miss Marple. That way the sky’s the limit. It’s, ‘What is the next case?’ It’s not about building a mythology around the character,” he says.

Johnson also confirmed he may still have another gig in a galaxy far, far away. When asked if he was still in active development on any future “Star Wars” projects, he responded: “I’m still talking to Lucasfilm but they haven’t announced anything on their slate yet.”

Knives Out” will do battle for best original screenplay when the Oscars airs live from Hollywood’s Dolby Theater on Feb. 9.

More Film

  • Jojo Rabbit History of Hitlor in

    'Jojo Rabbit' Carries on Tradition of Sounding an Alarm With Laughs

    At the Jan. 3 AFI Awards, Mel Brooks interrupted his speech about the American Film Institute’s women directors program to praise Taika Waititi for Searchlight’s “Jojo Rabbit.” However, he joked, the filmmaker “did not ask my permission to use Hitler!” It got a big laugh (as Brooks usually does) for the reference to his 1968 [...]

  • Evan Rachel Wood, Richard Jenkins and

    A24 Closing In on Miranda July's Sundance Player 'Kajillionaire' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Indie powerhouse A24 is closing in on worldwide distribution rights to Miranda July’s long-awaited third feature film “Kajillionaire,” insiders close to the deal told Variety, fighting off numerous other interested parties in a competitive situation. The Oscar-winning distributor is outrunning bidders including Bleecker Street, Focus Features, and Neon, source said. The deal that’s expected to [...]

  • Kevin Hart, Jason Statham Heading for

    Jason Statham and Kevin Hart Heading for 'The Man From Toronto' Comedy

    Jason Statham and Kevin Hart are in talks to star in action comedy “The Man From Toronto,” which Sony Pictures will release on Nov. 20. Patrick Hughes, who directed “The Hitman’s Bodyguard,” and “The Expendables 3,” will direct”The Man From Toronto” from a script by Robbie Fox, from a story by Fox and Jason Blumenthal. [...]

  • High Fidelity

    What’s Coming to Hulu in February 2020

    Next month, Hulu will ring in Valentine’s Day with some counterprogramming. The streaming service will debut its original series “High Fidelity,” a gender-swapped reimagining of Nick Hornby’s novel of the same name. Previously, the book was adapted into a 2000 movie from Stephen Frears starring John Cusack. Zoë Kravitz stars as Rob Brooks, a music-obsessive [...]

  • Wes Anderson

    Wes Anderson's 'French Dispatch' Sets Summer Release

    Wes Anderson’s star-studded comedic drama “The French Dispatch” will debut in theaters on July 24, Searchlight Pictures announced Wednesday. “The French Dispatch” is set in Paris during the 1950s and follows a group of journalists at an American newspaper bureau. The ensemble cast includes Benicio del Toro, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Lea Seydoux, Frances McDormand, [...]

  • Hillary Clinton Hulu Documentary

    Hillary Clinton Documentary Sells to Sky for U.K. Audiences (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Hillary,” a four-hour docuseries about the life and career of Hillary Clinton, has sold to Sky for U.K. distribution rights, Variety has learned. Clinton sat down for 35 hours of interviews with director Nanette Burstein (“On the Ropes”). The project premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival to strong reviews, for offering an honest portrait [...]

  • Rhythm Section Movie

    Will Blake Lively's 'Rhythm Section' Fumble at the Box Office on Super Bowl Weekend?

    Ticket sales could grind to a halt over Super Bowl weekend, a notoriously quiet time of year at the box office. Two new movies are opening — Paramount’s spy thriller “The Rhythm Section” and Orion Pictures’ fantasy adventure “Gretel & Hansel” — though each is expected to make less than $10 million. Since the Super [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content