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Rian Johnson Talks Making More ‘Knives Out’ Movies After ‘Glass Onion,‘ and If His ’Star Wars’ Trilogy Will Ever Happen: ‘God I Hope So’

Awards Circuit Podcast: Also on this episode, Eddie Redmayne talks about his new role in “The Good Nurse,” and the Awards Circuit roundtable tackles film festival season.

Rian Johnson at arrivals for The 72nd Annual Writers Guild Awards New York Ceremony, The Edison Ballroom, New York, NY February 1, 2020. Photo By: Jason Smith/Everett Collection

Writer/director Rian Johnson beams with positivity when sitting down to chat at the Middleburg Film Festival. His latest film “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” has been making the festival rounds, garnering critical acclaim and some Oscar buzz. But there’s one thing that his fans are dying to know: will he ever make his proposed “Star Wars” trilogy?

“I have talked to Kathy [Kathleen Kennedy] about it and we’re still talking about it,” Johnson tells Variety‘s Awards Circuit Podcast. “I had such an amazing experience making ‘The Last Jedi.’ It’s entirely a matter of scheduling. For me, putting this [‘Glass Onion’] out and making the next one of these…the answer is I don’t know.”

When asked directly if we will definitively see the Rian Johnson “Star Wars” trilogy in the future, he answers, “God I hope so.”

On this week’s episode of the award-winning Variety Awards Circuit Podcast, we sit down with Johnson to discuss his new film “Glass Onion,” in addition to discussing the state of his planned “Star Wars” trilogy and how many “Knives Out” movies he will continue to make.

Listen below:

The original “Death on the Nile” and “Evil Under the Sun” inspired Johnson’s whodunit “Knives Out” series. “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” by writer and director Rian Johnson is another uproarious take on the whodunit series that outdoes its predecessor in nearly every way. Daniel Craig reprises the role of Benoit Blanc, throwing himself into the funniest performance seen this year. It’s impossible to explain what the film is about without spoiling it, so we won’t do that. What we will do is tell you that the award for SAG Award for best cast ensemble is going to be a cutthroat race with “Glass Onion” in the mix.

Johnson isn’t one of those filmmakers like Steven Spielberg that knew he wanted to make movies after seeing “Lawrence of Arabia.” Johnson’s earliest memory of watching a movie was “The Wizard of Oz” (1939) on television, which he said “terrified” him. However, he remembers his first movie theater experience, which was going with his father to watch a re-release of George Lucas’ “Star Wars” (1977).

“It was just a cloud, and constantly surrounded by movies that just enveloped my childhood,” he says.

But don’t expect Johnson to join the trend of filmmakers like Spielberg, Kenneth Branagh and Alfonso Cuaron, to make a movie about his childhood. “It would not be as entertaining. It would be very boring.”

For many, Johnson’s take on “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (2017) stood as one of the most ambitious and inventive films of the franchise. “The plan for me was always to make the second one and then step back,” he says regarding not directing the third installment.

Johnson is excited about jumping right into the next “Knives Out” film, which will be the third installment of the franchise. When Netflix first announced the purchasing of the rights, two more films were said to be coming. When asked about how many “Knives Out” movies he has in him, Johnson says, “If each one of these can really be what Agatha Christie did, if it can be not just in a totally new location and a new cast, but also trying something exciting, I’ll keep doing it as long as Daniel [Craig] and I are having a good time. I’ll keep making these as long as they let me.”

Next on the docket for Johnson is his first-ever created television series, “Poker Face.” Working with Emmy nominee Natasha Lyonne (“Russian Doll”), he calls it an “old school, throwback to the case of the week mystery shows like ‘Magnum P.I.’ and ‘Columbo.’ It’s 10 episodes, and each one is a completely different mystery, with different guest stars for each one. We got some incredible actors to come in and play killers and victims.”

Netflix will release “Glass Onion” in theaters for an exclusive one-week sneak-preview window from Nov. 23 to Nov. 29. It will be released on the streaming platform on Dec. 23.  

Also on this episode, Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”) talks about his new role in “The Good Nurse,” which has put him in the Oscar conversation for best supporting actor. He also discusses his time in “Fantastic Beasts” and what’s coming next.

Finally, the Awards Circuit roundtable is back to talk about the week’s latest releases including “The Banshees of Inisherin,” the next festival stop at the Savannah Film Festival and the campaign news for the films “She Said” from Universal Pictures and “Women Talking” from MGM/UAR.

Variety’s “Awards Circuit” podcast, produced by Michael Schneider, who also co-hosts with Clayton Davis, is your one-stop listen for lively conversations about the best in film and television. Each week “Awards Circuit” features interviews with top film and TV talent and creatives; discussions and debates about awards races and industry headlines; and much, much more. Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post weekly.