Rian Johnson’s Glass Onion received a limited theatrical release on November 23 and a month later, on December 23, was released to a wider global audience on Netflix. Glass Onion saw the return of Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc, the world’s greatest detective and a character Craig first originated in 2019’s smash hit, Knives Out. Glass Onion is, for all intents and purposes, a Knives Out sequel. However, beyond Craig’s return, there is no other connection to the original film…well, except in the full title, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. As it turns out, Johnson is not too happy about that.
In an interview with The Atlantic, the director revealed he was “pissed off” with having A Knives Out Mystery in the sequel’s title, stating:
I’ve tried hard to make them self-contained. Honestly, I’m pissed off that we have A Knives Out Mystery in the title. You know? I want it to just be called Glass Onion. I get it, and I want everyone who liked the first movie to know this is next in the series, but also, the whole appeal to me is it’s a new novel off the shelf every time.
There is no denying that Glass Onion is a sufficient title, perfectly encapsulating the mystery and intrigue of the film, and honestly, without Craig’s reprisal, there is no indication the film is set in the same world as Knives Out. Johnson served the film’s audience an entirely new cast, a new location, and an equally chaotic, but fundamentally, different vibe. Despite the ubiquitous critique of the wealthy and powerful present in both films, the approaches Johnson took are entirely different and satisfyingly accurate. As a result, many viewers can watch either film without awareness of the other and still get the full storytelling experience without missing out a beat in transition.
All this to say that Johnson’s intention to have each film feel like a standalone movie was certainly successful. This is why it is understandable that he is upset with having Knives Out in the sequel’s title, Glass Onion simply did not need it. However, Johnson also raised a good point about wanting everyone who enjoyed the first film to know there was a new addition to the series and invite them back to the party. With Knives Out being such a critical darling and commercial success, and with Netflix paying a titanic $450 million for Glass Onion and a third entry in the franchise, it also makes a lot of sense to ride the success of the first movie and the anticipation of fans waiting for a sequel.
Since its wide release, the film has impressed audiences with its clever plot, intriguing characters, and masterful coda that subverted whodunit expectations. In his review, Collider’s own Ross Bonaime stated, “Johnson once more proves himself to be a disruptor, again upending expectations in this second Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) mystery, making an even bigger, more ambitious, and, somehow, even more entertaining whodunit than the previous film.”
: A Knives Out Mystery starred Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kate Hudson, Dave Bautista, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Jessica Henwick, and Madelyn Cline alongside Craig.
The film is currently available to watch on Netflix. Check out Collider’s interview with Johnson, where he discusses Glass Onion and the third film in the franchise, below: