It was to be a festive stay, an opportunity for a group of old friends to reconnect. With a private Greek island as your backdrop, what more could you ask for? But now a first murder occurs, then a second… Fortunately, the famous detective Benoit Blanc, played by Daniel Craig, is there to confuse the assassin who hides among the guests. In theaters November 23 and on Netflix December 23, Glass Onion. A story at loggerheads (VF of Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery) brings together filmmaker Rian Johnson and the starthree years after the surprise success of Knives Out (At loggerheads). The first took part in a conference on Monday to talk about his new detective comedy… while keeping the mystery surrounding it intact.
Several cast members were present at the virtual event, including Edward Norton (fight club), Janelle Monae (Moonlight), Kathryn Hahn (Wanda Vision), Kate Hudson (Almost Famous) and Leslie Odom Jr. (One Night in Miami). All that was missing, besides Daniel Craig, who was ill that morning, was Dave Bautista, taken up with the filming of the long-awaited second part of Dunesby Denis Villeneuve.
“Already during the filming of Knives OutDaniel and I had so much fun that we thought that if the film had even minimal success, it would be great to do more,” says Rian Johnson.
For the record, the screenwriter, director and producer sold for nearly half a billion US dollars. to Netflix the rights for two sequels, after Knives Out had received an Oscar nomination for best original screenplay and garnered more than 310 million in revenue for a budget, modest in Hollywood, of 40 million dollars.
In this case, money is at the heart of the plot of this second part which, like the recent Triangle of Sadness (Without filter), targets the ultra-rich.
The influence of Agatha Christie
In Glass Onion, the representative of the famous “1% club” is called Miles Bron and is a tycoon of high technologies. Host of his reunion which turns into blood sausage, he is upstart, unscrupulous, and he is embodied with obvious delight by Edward Norton.
“My character has never had an original idea in his life, notes the actor. I approached it like the Carly Simon song You’re So Vain [la chanteuse s’y adresse à un narcissique qui croira à tort être le sujet de la chanson]. I believe that there are many “techno-cranks” who will think, wrongly but often rightly, that this character parodies them. »
The haves were already going through the satirical mill in Knives Out. However, between the lines of laughter and narrative windings, Rian Johnson was then above all interested in social inequities, classes and “polite” racism. In Glass Onionthe filmmaker stacks up again with the proven formula of whodunit (“Who did it?”) to entertain on the first level, and make you think on the second.
“Right from the start, when Daniel and I were discussing the possibility of continuing the series, we had established that our modus operandi would consist in proposing autonomous adventures from each other, in places and with galleries of different characters. Like Agatha Christie with her novels, basically. It was not simply a matter of applying a recipe for whodunit : she mixed genres, she invented completely crazy stories and developed completely new narrative proposals; she knew how to keep the public on the lookout. Each novel had a purpose of its own. »
It will be understood, Rian Johnson claims loud and clear the influence of the Queen of Crime on his long-term cinematographic project.
Benoit Blanc, queer
If, in the film, the characters are all more selfish and deceitful than each other, behind the scenes, their interpreters describe a real esprit de corps. Fortunately, because during filming in Greece, the pandemic forced us to maintain a bubble.
“In front of the camera, during breaks, on days off: we were together all the time, explains Kathryn Hahn, who describes a shoot in a state of grace. We were like a theater troupe. There was real camaraderie. While one of us filmed his scene, the rest of the cast stood behind the camera, watching and cheering on our colleague. »
It must be said that from the first evening of presentations at Daniel Craig, the good mood was there.
“I remember Daniel, wearing espadrilles and a salmon linen shirt, serving us cocktails; refinement… There is more of Benoit in Daniel than any other of his characters,” says Edward Norton, with a smirk.
He who said goodbye to James Bond last year, Daniel Craig could not have found a score more dissimilar to that of 007: perfect for regaining his virginity as an actor (his dance number in the new vodka commercial by Taika Waititi takes part of the same process). With his vaguely southern accent and his dandy manners, Benoit Blanc resembles a sexy Hercule Poirot. And he’s having fun, Daniel Craig.
Especially since in this film, Rian Johnson has decided to establish beyond any doubt the “ queer-itude” by Blanc by ensuring, for the occasion, the participation of a star whose name will not be mentioned.
In this regard, the film is punctuated by a host of special appearances. Special mention to that of Angela Lansbury, who died in October, and who played amateur detective Jessica Fletcher for almost 20 years in the series Murder, She Wrote (She written to murder). The actress also played, and we return here to the Agatha Christie sector, the author’s other emblematic detective: Miss Marple, in The Mirror Crack’d (The mirror shattered1980), as well as a hilarious alcoholic novelist in Death on the Nile (Death on the Nile1978), according to the bestseller of the same name.
“We are currently surfing on a beautiful wave of murder and mystery: I have the impression that people are rediscovering this genre, the public as much as the filmmakers. I grew up with the 1970s-1980s adaptations of Agatha Christie: I remember seeing and re-watching them with my family, and the impact they had on me. All these years later, I find it so cool to discuss with friends who have children of the age that I had then, and who discover in their turn this kind of film. »
The film Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery hits theaters on November 23,
then on Netflix on December 23.