Following the recent news that not one, but two sequels to director Rian Johnson's 2019 hit Knives Out are being set up at Netflix, it is now being reported that Johnson, returning star Daniel Craig, and producer Ram Bergman stand to walk away with upward of $100 million each from the deal.
It was initially presumed that Lionsgate would release any subsequent sequels, having seen such success from the first Knives Out, but at the end of last month it was revealed in a last-minute twist worthy of Benoit Blanc that Netflix had signed a deal for $469 million to release both Knives Out 2 and Knives Out 3.
The deal gives Rian Johnson creative control of the projects, with sources saying that he will not have to take any notes from the streaming giant. It has also been reported that Netflix's only contingencies were that Daniel Craig reprise his role from the first movie, and that the budget for each movie must match at least that of the first Knives Out, which was somewhere in the $40 million range. These same sources are the ones to have claimed that Johnson, Bergman and Craig could earn an wallet-bursting $100 million each.
It is also believed that the deal has come about due to the ongoing global situation, and how it has changed the approach to streaming content. "Yes, it's overpaying, but Netflix is playing chess while everyone else is playing checkers," says one streaming executive familiar with the deal. "It takes a proven theatrical commodity off the board and puts it in their pocket. And it's another way they re-educate audiences to think of streaming and their company above a studio."
Starring an ensemble cast that includes the likes of including Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell, and Christopher Plummer, Knives Out follows master detective Benoit Blanc (Craig) who is called in to investigate the death of the patriarch of a wealthy, dysfunctional family. The movie was met with unanimous critical acclaim for its performances, insular story, and revival of the classic whodunnit, earning a worldwide total of $311.4 million at the box office.
Since the first movie's success, audiences have been calling for a sequel, with writer/director Rian Johnson since confirming that Knives Out 2 is indeed happening, but perhaps not quite as expected. While not much is yet known about the specifics of the sequel, Johnson has stated that it's best not to think of the movie as Knives Out 2, but rather the continuing adventures of Daniel Craig's world-famous private detective, Benoit Blanc.
"I'm actually writing another Knives Out. It's been such a mindf**k, because I sat on the idea for the first one for 10 years. And with this one, I'm starting with a blank page," Johnson said of the project last year. "It's not really a Knives Out sequel. I need to come up with a title for it so I can stop calling it The Knives Out Sequel because it's just Daniel Craig as the same detective with a totally new cast."
This news comes to us courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter.