Netflix is dropping 400 million dollars for the Rian Johnson/Daniel Craig murder mystery sequels for Knives Out. Johnson and Craig are set to reprise as Director and Star of the two upcoming sequels. This is the biggest streaming deal made in history.
A sequel was expected, but the recent discreet auction that went on between three streamers — Apple and Amazon were the others — was a surprise. How was it possible? The original was acquired in a single picture deal by MRC, which distributed the film through Lionsgate. The first film cost $40 million and turned in a global gross north of $311 million. Owned and licensed by Johnson and Bergman on a picture by picture basis, Johnson and Ram Bergman had the right to make the richest sequel deal they could. It gives Netflix a bonafide event film franchise for its slate. The first picture will begin shooting June 28 in Greece, and casting will begin immediately. Knives Out, with a killer cast and a meticulously crafted script, was a crowd pleasing hit that sets up perfectly for more mysteries.
The sequels will have to somehow replicate the magic of the first film that blended iconic actors with rising stars seamlessly. Knives Out was a much needed palate cleanser for Johnson’s ill received entry into the Star Wars franchise with The Last Jedi.