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Rian Johnson is not happy that Netflix tacked the title of his hit movie Knives Out, into the title of his new flick Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.
In fact, he says he’s pretty pissed off about it.
“I’ve tried hard to make them self-contained. Honestly, I’m pissed off that we have A Knives Out Mystery in the title,” Johnson told The Atlantic. “I want it to just be called Glass Onion.”
Johnson’s Knives Out was something of a surprise hit in 2019. That’s great for him, however, Netflix wanted to ride that success with the follow-up film Glass Onion.
Both movies feature Daniel Craig as detective Benoit Blanc, but aside from that, they stand on their own. But in this day and age, if you have something successful, you milk it for all its worth and that’s what Netflix did to Johnson’s chagrin.
They tried to wring every cent out of the words “Knives Out.”
“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. But there’s a gravity of a thousand suns toward serialized storytelling.”
Tell ‘Em Rian: More Originality, Less Cinematic Universes
Johnson is right. This is the world we live in now, where studios and moviegoers are obsessed with the idea of cinematic universes and dozens of films crisscrossing. If a movie doesn’t have a connection to another movie that fans recognize it often seems like studios and distributors are afraid to give it a shot.
Johnson’s original Knives Out was one of the few exceptions to that.
Franchise star Daniel Craig spent 15 years as James Bond. It’s not like any of those films are called Skyfall: A James Bond Adventure or Quantum of Solace: A James Bond Movie But Not A Very Good One. They all stand on their own, and that’s how Johnson would’ve wanted.
I’ve been dragging my feet on Glass Onion, but it’s on my list and I hear it’s solid. The original was a breath of fresh air since it wasn’t polluted with pre-existing characters.
We need more of that. Not every movie or TV show needs to be part of a giant, over-arching universe. I’m sick of feeling like I have to play catchup and watch 9 movies to understand what’s happening in one.
I just want to see a movie. I don’t need homework.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle