Amidst all the caterwauling about Star Wars’ box office—which is fine by any and every measure—the real success story of the holiday season is Knives Out. It opened back in November, during the US Thanksgiving holiday, and it has trucked along steadily ever since, raking in over $247 million worldwide to date. With a reported budget of $40 million, this makes Knives Out a HUGE success. While Star Wars is mired in yet more fan complaining and second-guessing, Rian Johnson has been the living embodiment of the Baby Yoda sipping soup meme. He spent two years plagued by the worst of Star Wars’ toxic fandom, only to glide through the holiday box office an undisputed winner, and now he’s developing a sequel in the Benoit Blanc Cinematic Universe, the cinematic universe we truly deserve.
Ever since I saw Knives Out at TIFF, all I have wanted is a Benoit Blanc Cinematic Universe, so I am over the moon about this news. There is an important caveat, which is that another Benoit Blanc film has not been officially greenlit, but at a pre-Golden Globes party, Rian Johnson told The Hollywood Reporter that he is developing a sequel, and given Knives Out’s haul, it’s hard to imagine distributor Lionsgate would pass on a chance to double down. Indeed, Lionsgate chairman Joe Drake said he is “eager to read a script”. So not official, but there is literally NO reason not to do this. The world NEEDS the BBCU.
There is also a note in the THR report that, following The Rise of Skywalker, Lucasfilm is “slowing down” their film plans as they plot their next move. They are currently slated to release the next Star War in 2022, but I have been skeptical they meet that commitment ever since Benioff & Weiss dropped their potential trilogy. Johnson still has a new trilogy in planning, and Kevin Feige is developing a film for Lucasfilm, too, (assuming he doesn’t just take the whole thing over in a couple years when Kathleen Kennedy’s contract expires). But we now live in a world where, come 2022, we could be getting Knives Out 2 while Star Wars continues to struggle to find an identity. After all the sh-t Johnson ate from toxic fans, frankly, it feels particularly sweet on his behalf. Beyoncé was right, the best revenge IS your paper.
Attached - Rian Johnson, Daniel Craig, and Rachel Weisz at the Golden Globes on Sunday.