Rian Johnson wanted 'Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery' to have a different title.

Knives Out's Creator Has 1 Big Regret About Glass Onion

This cinematic universe is more complicated than you'd think.


There’s not much connecting Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery to the original Knives Out. Only one character — the impossibly perceptive detective Benoit Blanc — is in both films, and of course, the 2022 movie’s title makes clear that it’s a sequel. But if director Rian Johnson had his way, that title would be much different. Johnson revealed he wanted Glass Onion to drop A Knives Out Mystery from its official title, and explained why he’s “pissed off” that couldn’t happen.

The 2019 murder mystery Knives Out and its 2022 follow-up Glass Onion feel more like sister films than a serialized movie saga. Each center on Benoit Blanc as he investigates a nefarious scheme affecting a group of ultra-wealthy suspects, and you don’t need to see one movie to fully understand and enjoy the other. It’s for that reason that Johnson was opposed to titling the newest edition Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.

“I’ve tried hard to make them self-contained. Honestly, I’m pissed off that we have A Knives Out Mystery in the title,” Johnson said in a Dec. 26 interview with The Atlantic. “I want it to just be called Glass Onion. I get it, and I want everyone who liked the first movie to know this is next in the series, but also, the whole appeal to me is it’s a new novel off the shelf every time. But there’s a gravity of a thousand suns toward serialized storytelling.”


So, despite his wishes for the films in the Benoit Blanc series to feel as self-contained as possible, it sounds like the upcoming Knives Out 3 will also have the A Knives Out Mystery subtitle. Johnson went on to explain how his experience directing 2017’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi — the middle film in the sequel trilogy — challenged his idea of how movies should end. That movie shocked the fandom with a final twist that shook up the whole idea of what it meant to be a Jedi.

“Look, in terms of the Star Wars movie I did, I tried to give it a hell of an ending,” Johnson said. “I love endings so much that even doing the middle chapter of the trilogy, I tried to give it an ending. A good ending that recontextualizes everything that came before it and makes it a beautiful object unto itself — that’s what makes a movie a movie. It feels like there’s less and less of that. This whole poisonous idea of creating [intellectual property] has completely seeped into the bedrock of storytelling. Everyone is just thinking, ‘How do we keep milking it?’ I love an ending where you burn the Viking boat into the sea.”

Of course, Johnson couldn’t really give his Star Wars film a true ending since a sequel was already on the horizon, but within his Knives Out universe, the writer-director is free to bring each of Benoit Blanc’s cases to a satisfying conclusion before moving on to the next.