Writer/director and self-described Agatha Christie “nut” Rian Johnson and producing partner Ram Bergman are currently readying a company of their own to help finance their next film, Knives Out, ahead of Toronto International Film Festival this week. Deadline reported exclusively on Tuesday that actor Daniel Craig is set to have accepted the lead role in the new project which Johnson had previously staked in for Craig, a move that sets up a potential A-list roster in upcoming casting news.
The film is best described as a modern day murder mystery in the classic whodunit style, infused with Johnson’s original voice that informed films from Brick to Looper.
Production moves forward in November with CAA Media Finance repping North American distro rights, FilmNation on international rights and both co-prepping its rights for China. Knives Out adds to Johnson’s current plate of to-dos for Disney’s Star Wars saga, while nonetheless an opportune moment in landing Craig whose next turn as James Bond is still pending provided a director is hired soon.
“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,” Johnson said. “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.”