Blink and you would miss the small announcement; Knives Out is a film we are all probably familiar with, starring Daniel Craig in the lead role to get to the bottom of a sudden death with an A-list cast.
Netflix has paid out an eye-watering sum to develop not one, but two sequels – with the possibility of a third – to be developed.
(It just happens to be dependent on the director.)
Yes, in essence, a franchise is to be developed in something of a ‘first’ for the company.
With filming set to begin this year at long last – having been prevented by the dreaded thing rhyming with Zarohnairis (sound out phonetically) – maybe we should be asking ourselves an important question.
Do we really need another Knives Out film, let alone a franchise?
The Reported Fee Is A Huge Gamble – Is Is Worth It?
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With the damage that has been wielded by the pandemic, there have been cultural institutions that have suffered hugely – and whether they will return is a question that has yet to be answered.
If you are in the UK, you will know that cinema has taken a huge blow, even a wrecking ball at times – and ‘coming back’ has proved uncertain, in part due to the stop-and-start style of restrictions.
Because of this reason, it looks almost as if streaming is set to be the future – something of a default option for us all.
But is streaming at all sustainable?
Netflix has apparently reached deep down to stump up a huge fee, reportedly standing at £450 million.
Is it really worth it – and will it reach the potential the fee suggests, or will it just be a complete failure?
Was The Original Knives Out Film Really That Good?
The first Knives Out film won a lot of acclaim – but bear with this disgruntled viewer for a second; was it really *that* good, compared to other murder mysteries in the same genre?
Would you honestly watch it more than once?
Since the initial release of Knives Out, there has been something of a notable cultural reckoning when it comes to the subject of race and other marginalised characteristics.
Knives Out centres on what is described as a ‘dysfunctional family’.
How very coded is that language? The way the family responds to a will being readout – with the direct relatives of the deceased getting nothing – is just out and out overtly racist.
And there isn’t really accountability of that; why is this considered to be entertaining for a drama-murder-mystery film?
It was extremely inappropriate – and was why Hugh Grant’s character in The Gentlemen was also criticised.
Why has the same not happened for Knives Out?
The storyline was also not what you could feasibly call ‘believable’ – because the personalities of the cast already established get in the way – and the original centred around the lives of one incredibly rich and entitled family.
(It is very far away from what most of us would even relate to.)
Think of Love Actually; can you feasibly think of at least two character names, and not the A list actor attached to the film?
(Bet you have whispered once: “look – that’s a really young Hugh Grant! And there is a very young Kiera Knightley, newlywed and having to deal with a creepy stalker-ish individual!”)
You would probably be doing the same for Knives Out – because you have 007, Captain America, and Jamie Lee Curtis all in one room together!
The point is this; the characters are somewhat forgettable, even unremarkable, in the course of the film.
Plus, can we just get this out of the way: Daniel Craig’s accent was just awful in this. And the dialogue was so creepily specific about the heart of the alleged suspect in the murder – and was also very cliched.
How Will This Even Look? Can That Formula Be Replicated?
If the second, third and possibly fourth sequel to Knives Out is anything like a classic murder mystery, then it begs the question: what will this look like on screen?
The usual format is to have the same detective go and investigate a completely different mystery – and one that usually has no connection to the previous cause for investigation.
For sake of argument, let us assume that any and all of the possible Knives Out sequels will follow this formula – as it is not exactly genre-bending.
It also does not deviate from normal standards, largely.
But the first instalment, the original Knives Out, seems to have a something of a magical formula that will be incredibly difficult to replicate once again on screen.
One of the Avengers’ actors once made the remark that “sequels suck” while on the Graham Norton show – and with several box office successes and failures under their belt, though know a thing or two.
This is not always the case, especially if you have something new and exciting – or can replicate that formula.
Take TED and TED 2 as an example. But who knows?
As the US and UK seem to be finally (at last) on the road to achieving some sense of normality, thanks to the incredibly successful vaccine drive across both countries, many of us are starting to look to a far more positive and brighter future.
No one should forget the year and a bit that we spent turning to our screens for a sense of escapism, just to forget our collective worldly misery even if just for a moment.
Once we reach a sense of normality, however, we will not be needing our screens so much – and will not have to worry about if we can or cannot binge watch our favourite programme, film franchise or box set.
There will be a time we are able to pick and choose, to be picky, about our media consumption. Who knows if filmgoers will tune into more of Knives Out?
Knives Out 2 is set to be out sometime in 2022.
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