The Opening Gambit by writer-director Rian Johnson Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, his second in his series of Agatha Christie-style crime series, is one of Mischief. Tech billionaire Miles (Edward Norton) has sent each member of his gang of longtime friends a wooden puzzle box that will call them all to his Greek island if unlocked to “solve the mystery of my murder.” It’s a game, of course, but not everyone wants to play.
Obviously here are the twists start. When the group arrives in Greece, they find that Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) has also been invited to their annual friends’ gathering. Old grievances soon come to light and Miles’ former business partner Andi (Janelle Monáe), politician Claire (Kathryn Hahn), fashion designer Birdie (Kate Hudson), Birdie’s assistant Peg (Jessica Henwick), men’s rights influencer Duke (Dave Bautista) , Duke’s girlfriend Whiskey (Madelyn Cline) and scientist Lionel (Leslie Odom Jr.) all question each other’s motives. And this is In front one of them is found dead.
No spoilers here, but one thing that emerges during Blanc’s investigation is that Miles is the archetype of the tech billionaire in every way: he buys fancy toys and houses, goes about with cocky bragging, and believes so much in his big ideas that that he is not willing to acknowledge that when they are bad – or dangerous.
Johnson wrote the screenplay at the height of the Covid-19 lockdowns, well before Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, but admits his film, which lands on Netflix today, came as a surprise au courant. “A friend of mine said, ‘Gosh, that feels like it was written this afternoon,'” Johnson notes.
but glass onion is much more than that – it’s also a really fun time. WIRED jumped on Zoom with Johnson to talk about his new movie, scripts written by AI and what’s happening with his Star Wars films. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.
WIRED: One of the things that initially stands out glass onion is that it is taking place during the Covid-19 lockdown. What were you thinking?
Ryan Johnson: As a huge whodunit fan growing up so many of the ones I loved were historical plays set in England. It’s a type of genre that’s particularly good at exploring culture and society. It just felt like, “Well, OK, obviously we want to take this with a very light touch because these aren’t very serious movies and Covid is a very serious thing,” but it felt like it was a possibility If there was a lock in there it felt right.
Right. The period is those isolated days of 2020. Some recent films have attempted to deal with Covid-19 or incorporate the pandemic into stories. How does that work in a criminal police department?
They build a small microcosm of society with the suspects and the power structure within the suspects. That’s what we’ve all been through, and we now have all these scrambled characters to get insights into these characters, like their mask choices.
You said before that the knife out Movies aren’t meant to be sequential, that one isn’t a continuation of the other. Does this change anything right in 2020?
https://www.wired.com/story/rian-johnson-glass-onion-q-and-a/ Rian Johnson Knows the Tech Bro in ‘Glass Onion’ Looks Very Familiar