Daniel Craig was almost too busy being James Bond to play detective Benoit Blanc in Knives Out. Knives Out takes the classic whodunnit and spins it on its head. After receiving a mysterious tip, Benoit Blanc comes on the scene to investigate the murder of Harlan Thrombey that had previously been ruled a suicide. The detective interviews each privileged member of the Thrombey family, all of whom have their own motives, and his Latina caretaker, to get down to the bottom of the death of the multi-millionaire’s death. The crime drama hit theaters on November 27th, 2019.
The next James Bond film, No Time To Die was set to premiere the same month as Knives Out. However, the film has hit several speed bumps delaying its premiere date. Writer and director Danny Boyle was slated to direct the 25th James Bond film with John Hodge, but ended up leaving due to creative differences and was replaced by Cary Fukunaga. Once filming began, the injuries started piling up. Not only was a crew member injured during a set explosion, but the Craig injured his ankle while filming and it required him to undergo a minor surgical procedure. Even after filming wrapped, the coronavirus has forced the movie to postpone its premiere date and press tour in China.
One of No Time to Die’s delays, however, was a blessing in disguise. Knives Out director Rian Johnson revealed in an interview with THR that while he was trying to keep an open mind while writing each role, Craig was always at the top of his list for that of Benoit Blanc. Craig initially turned down the role since the longtime Bond actor was set to begin filming No Time to Die around the same as Knives Out. But once the Bond film was delayed, Johnson immediately pounced on the opportunity and Craig agreed to film Knives Out before transforming into Agent 007.
“Then it was a very serendipitous moment when the Bond movie pushed three months. This was not like the injury he had; this was before that. It was just a logistic thing, they pushed their schedule, so he suddenly had a window open and we got in there right away and he said yes right away, and we were making the movie right away.”
Craig will put on his detective hat once again in the Knives Out sequel. The sequel will follow his character, Benoit Blanc, as he investigates a new case in a new location with a new set of suspects. Craig is just as excited as Johnson to begin working on the sequel, and the writer/director is already in the process of developing the story for Knives Out 2. He hopes to begin filming as early as next year.
Johnson isn’t the only one who was relieved that Craig was able to fill Benoit Blanc’s shoes. Craig had the poise and confidence required to play this elite detective. He was able to keep a poker face, leaving viewers guessing whose side he’s really on. Craig also had the strength and conviction to reign in the zany Thrombeys that made up the ensemble of this film. Craig has is plate full with No Time to Die releasing on April 10th, 2020 in the US and Knives Out 2 in the works.