There’s no doubt that Netflix‘s Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery has an all-star cast. A cast, by the way, that has some seriously impressive net worths. That’s to be expected from an ensemble that includes Edward Norton, Janelle Monae, and Kate Hudson. All of these A-list names aside, it’s Daniel Craig who is the face of the franchise. After all, he is the one connective tissue between the 2022 sequel and the 2019 original.
But even though the James Bond icon may just be the most important player, he doesn’t always get his way. In an interview with Vulture, writer/director Rian Johnson explained that Craig had a very specific request that wasn’t exactly met with open arms. Here’s why…
Daniel Craig’s Knives Out Character Is Never Supposed To Change
In his interview with Vulture, Rian Johnson, the mastermind behind the Knives Out franchise, explained that it was important not to alter detective Benoit Blanc from the first film to the second. While the character, played by Daniel Craig, is the constant from one mystery to the next, he isn’t the protagonist.
“I think it can be kind of a trap to start thinking that the detective is your protagonist. That’s actually a mistake. The detective is always at the center of it, but he’s also outside of the realm of the human drama,” Rian Johnson explained to Vulture.
He went on to say, “The detective has to be godlike and sort of outside that realm, which is all to say that the detective always kind of operates according to the needs of the mystery. [Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc] is different in Glass Onion than he is in Knives Out, but that’s because he’s intentionally trying to play another part in drawing these people out and solving the crime.”
Why Glass Onion Takes Place In Greece
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Story takes place in Greece during the summer, meaning it’s pool party weather. During an interview with Vulture, director Rian Johnson explained that one of the main reasons he chose Greece as the location for the second movie in the franchise was because of his desire to go there. When he was writing the film, it was at the height of the 2020 pandemic.
“A big part of it was wanting, in that moment, to be on a beach somewhere on a Greek island,” Rian Johnson said to Vulture. “The first movie was also very much in the tradition of the English-countryside cozy-house murder but in New England. So I wanted to plant a really solid flag at the beginning that this was going to be something completely different than the first one. I wanted to say right up front with Glass Onion, This is going to be the way these movies are — that every single one is totally different.”
On top of Greece being a different location than a moody mansion in the country, Johnson claimed that “destination murders” in mysteries are a tradition. He has been inspired by Agatha Christie’s stories, and she has had a love of setting her mysteries in exotic locations.
“Evil Under the Sun was originally set in England, but the film, which I grew up watching four times a day on HBO when I was a kid, is set in this beautiful Mediterranean island. And it isn’t Christie but The Last of Sheila [written by Anthony Perkins and Stephen Sondheim]. If anyone here doesn’t know Last of Sheila, I bang the drum for this woman continuously because more and more people are discovering it but it’s still underseen.”
Why Daniel Craig Wanted A Shirtless Scene In Knives Out 2
While discussing the strengths and weaknesses of Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc in the Knives Out franchise versus Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, Rian Johnson revealed the former’s pride in his body. After all, the man has worked his guts out to get his James Bond body. And when he shot Glass Onion, he was still in great shape after shooting his final Bond film, No Time To Die.
Given that Daniel Craig was in superb shape and the film was set in an exotic location, it would have made sense for Johnson to get in a shirtless scene or two. But the writer/director had no interest. And this is despite the fact that Craig was all for it.
“There’s an ongoing joke in Glass Onion, a friend of mine gave it to me: It’s like a pool party, and Benoit Blanc never wants to take off his shirt, so he’s in the pool in his shirt,” Rian Johnson explained to Vulture.
“At some point, I thought, Oh, this will be very funny because Daniel doesn’t have to worry about working out all the time. But he’s like, ‘I just came off the last James Bond. You know I am actually kind of buff, right? I can take my shirt off.’ I was like, ‘Eh, I don’t think so’.”