What if Knives Out 3 was a musical?

Rian Johnson brings together a cast of actors who all have one thing in common: they all know how to sing. Does he have an idea behind his head?

As for Glass Onionthe announcement of the casting of the third part ofAt loggerheadstitled Wake Up Dead Man: A Knives Out Mystery, is done drop by drop. Barely Daniel Craig confirmed to return in the costume of Benoit Blanc, by Netflix and Ryan Johnson, we learned that he would be among the suspects and/or victims of his third investigation: Josh O'Connor (Challengers), Cailee Spaeny (Priscilla), Andrew Scott (Fleabag), Kerry Washington (Django Unchained), Glenn Close (Dangerous relationships), Mila Kunis (That 70's Show) And Jeremy Renner (Avengers). Without forgetting the probable return of Hugh Grant, who plays the husband of the investigator at the heart of the films, and Noah Segan, who always appears furtively in Rian Johnson's films.

A flawless casting

What do all his actors have in common? They can sing, and well. If they haven't already proven it on screen or on a Broadway stage (see the multiple examples below), they repeated in interviews that they would love to play in a musical, like 'Andrew Scott, big fan of this cinematic genre. At the microphone of CBS Mornings, the actor Sherlock and more recently Ripley for example, confessed to having already auditioned, as a teenager, for a role in The Sound of Music, but his voice was changing and this bad experience left him somewhat traumatized. Will Rian Johnson be able to restore his confidence to finally take the plunge?

Within this list of actors, some are downright recognized singers. Cailee Spaeny has released pop tracks including “Young Love”, which has had some success on YouTube. It was in 2015, before breaking into the cinema, and she had already acquired a good experience of the stage thanks to her adaptations of cult cartoons, such as The little Mermaid during the 2013-2014 season.

Ditto for Jeremy Renner, in another genre. For example, we could hear it in the cinema in The Josey Aimes affair (2005) and The assassination of Jesse James by the coward Robert Ford (2007) and here is one of his pieces, “Hand Attraction”, for which he recorded a music video, in 2019.

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Josh O'Connor has yet to officially film a musical in Hollywood, but when he was still a schoolboy he performed an adaptation of Bugsy Malone along with her classmate Tahliah Barnett, better known today by her singer and actress name FKA Twigs.

Mila Kunis performed a remarkable piece In Family Guy for Seth MacFarlaneKerry Washington was revealed to the general public thanks to her role as the wife of Ray Charles in Raywho asked her to be comfortable with the Gospel song, and Glenn Close is particularly known for having participated in the musical adaptation of Sunset Boulevard. First in 1994, then during an exceptional revival in 2017.

A nod elsewhere tweeted by the co-writer and director of the three films, Rian Johnson, when The Hollywood Reporter announced the arrival of the actress in At Knives Out 3 !

This tweet is not the only clue concerning the possibility of seeing the birth of a sung sequel, according to SlashFilmwhich reminds us that one of Rian Johnson's favorite works is The Phantom of the Opera. This musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber is a huge reference for the creator of Looper and of Star Wars 8and this same artist is also directly linked to the musical adaptation of Sunset Boulevard, which he also composed. We also owe him Cats (the show, not the film unloved for its disturbing special effects), Jesus Christ Superstar or the adaptation of Rock Academy on Broadway.

By diving back into the history of Knives Out and its multiple references, we see a lot of links with musical comedy or music in general. Already, each film title is linked to a famous hit: “Knives Out” refers to Radiohead, “Glass Onions” to the Beatles – a choice all the more meta as the group made fun in this song of the fact that critics were constantly looking for a hidden meaning in their lyrics! – and “Wake Up Dead Man” is the name of a U2 song.

Also remember that Benoit Blanc sang for a short time in the first part. In a car, he sang “Losing My Mind/Not a Day Goes By”, by Stephen Sondheim. A legend of musical comedy which also appeared duringa cameo in Glass Onionchatting on video with the protagonist!

We can even go further by mentioning the fact that thanks to At loggerheadsDaniel Craig can break his serious image in the public eye after six incarnations of James Bond in the cinema, and he doesn't hold back. A fan of scathing humor in the first part, the English actor was able to let loose even more in his sequel, showing all his contempt towards millionaires who were not very humanist. It also appeared more queerassuming his homosexuality, via the famous cameo of Hugh Grant living alongside him.

In parallel with the broadcast of these two films, the actor continued this approach via other projects, signing for Luca Guadagnino's next filmfor example, or by shooting this commercial under the direction of Taika Waititi:

Hugh Grant Confirms He's 'Married to James Bond' in Glass Onion

Next step for Benoit Blanc, being asked to sing and/or dance while solving a new investigation? Or will Rian Johnson at least make sure that his murder mystery takes place on a stage, behind the scenes of the creation of a musical? Recently, Jacques Audiard was able to prove during the Cannes festival that this genre could be adapted as desired, via his cartel film Emilia Perez, which includes great musical numbers. And at the end of the year, it's Todd Phillips who will have to convince fans to Joker that the journey of one of the greatest villains in comic book history is also being adapted into a musical…

On paper, makeAt Knives Out 3 a pure musical comedy seems less risky than for the team of Joker: Folie à deux, especially since the film will probably not be broadcast in cinemas, since it was produced by Netflix as a priority for the streaming service. Here's what Johnson said when officially announcing his exit in 2025:

“I love absolutely everything about 'whodunit', but what I like most is the malleability of the genre. There is a whole spectrum of tones, (John Dickson) Carr to (Agatha) Christie, and having the opportunity to explore that range, it's one of the most interesting things about making films following Benoit Blanc.

We're about to go into production on the third film, and I'm very, very excited to share the title, which gives a little hint of what's going to happen there.

We will of course have to wait for confirmation from its creator, but this theory of a musical is enticing. After all, Agatha Christie, great source of inspiration for Knives Out, used the theme of theater and its world of actors – people who lie by definition – from every angle in his novels. Hercule Poirot's investigation entitled Drama in three acts, published in 1934, is undoubtedly the most famous example. The idea of ​​seeing this sequelAt loggerheads taking place in a show universe would also give a new meaning to the title, Wake Up Dead Man : on stage, once the performance is over, a “dead man”can get up perfectly!

Knives Out: Daniel Craig Unleashed [Critique]


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