Podtalk: Director Rian Johnson Sharpens the Tools in ‘Knives Out’

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CHICAGO – Let’s get this over with … Rian Johnson directed “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” in 2017. Let’s let that fanboy quiver die down and note the talented filmmaker has produced a Thanksgiving treat, his new film “Knives Out.” The old fashioned “whodunit” flicker with an all-star cast was put together in the spirit of fun at the movies.

The Cast of ‘Knives Out’
Photo credit: Lionsgate

The film is essentially an all-star homage to the movie murder mystery popularized by Agatha Christie and her detective characters Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot. Daniel Craig joyfully plays against his James Bond type as celebrity detective Benoit Blanc, who is trying to solve a family murder of Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), the rich family patriarch of the large cast of characters, which includes portrayals by Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette and Ana de Armas. Writer/director Johnson is a lifelong fan of the Christie approach, and uses the same lightness and fun.

Rian Johnson himself has come a long way since his debut mystery film, the enigmatic ‘Brick’ (2005). The odd and eccentric “The Brothers Bloom” (2008) followed, but it was his sci-fi time travel film “Looper” (2012) that got him the attention for the “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” assignment. “Knives Out” is his fifth feature, and all of his directorial efforts are also scripted by him.

Director Rian Johnson in Chicago for ‘Knives Out’
Photo credit: Patrick McDonald for HollywoodChicago.com

In a Podtalk with Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com, Rian Johnson talks about “Knives Out,” utilizing the biggest “toy train set” of cinema while filming “Star Wars” and where he goes for creative inspiration.

”Knives Out” opens everywhere on November 27th. Featuring Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer and Ana de Armas. Written and directed by Rian Johnson. Rated “PG-13”

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Editor and Film Writer

© 2019 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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