Surprise! Rian Johnson is making a new movie before he sets off to direct his new Star Wars trilogy. Deadline has the news that Johnson has teamed up with actor Daniel Craig for a very hot package called Knives Out, which will be up for studio bidding at the Toronto International Film Festival later this week. The film is an original story written by Johnson and is described as a contemporary murder mystery, with Craig playing a detective assigned to solve the crime.
With Bond 25 now regrouping after director Danny Boyle‘s exit and no longer filming this fall, the plan is for Knives Out to start production in November, before Johnson becomes too busy with his new Star Wars trilogy. Indeed, after Star Wars: The Last Jedi was completed, the folks at Lucasfilm so enjoyed their collaboration with Johnson that they enlisted him to create and direct a brand new Star Wars trilogy featuring new characters and a new setting. That’s still in the works, but Knives Out is a script Johnson whipped up over the summer, borne out of his love for Agatha Christie novels.
Speaking with Deadline, Johnson spoke about how he and his producing partner Ram Bergman hatched the idea of casting Craig:
“I have been a huge fan and always wanted to work with him and as I worked on the script, trying to get it right, Ram and I were wringing our hands over who could be the detective. Then, serendipitously, we heard Daniel might have a small window, and it worked out. He’s an actor of extraordinary range, and we are looking forward to the fun of finding that modern detective, and collaborating with Daniel on creating a new Poirot.”
The script only just went out to prospective studio buyers last night as Craig signed on following the Bond 25 delay, but expect this one to create immense interest within the industry. As someone who adored what Johnson brought to The Last Jedi, I’m also incredibly excited to see the filmmaker behind Brick and Looper back in the arena of original stories—even if it’s merely a detour before heading back to a galaxy far, far away.