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Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery - 15 things you didn’t know about the Knives Out sequel
From the celebrity cameos and the character inspired by Elon Musk to the origins of the name Glass Onion, we reveal 15 facts and Easter eggs about the Knives Out sequel on Netflix.
The highly-anticipated, multi-million sequel to 2019's Oscar-nominated Knives Out is released globally on Netflix on December 23, and we couldn't be more excited.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery finds detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) at the centre of another murder mystery, this time at a celebrity party at a lavish private estate on a Greek island.
Ahead of the release of the Knives Out sequel, we reveal a list of things you didn’t know - including the origins of the film’s title Glass Onion, the suprise celebrity cameos in the film, which character is inspired by Elon Musk, and how Daniel Craig "forgot" his accent.
Discover 15 surprising facts, fun trivia and hidden Easter eggs below.
1. Rian Johnson wanted Glass Onion to look and feel completely different to Knives Out
Visually, Glass Onion couldn’t be more dissimilar to Knives Out. To start, it’s set in Greece in the summer, rather than in a mansion on the U.S. East coast in the autumn months.
That's because, along with Agatha Christie’s novels, the film's writer and director Rian Johnson looked to “tropical getaway murder mystery movies" for inspiration, such as Evil Under the Sun (1982), and more notably, The Last of Sheila (1973), below.
The latter film is about a group of glamorous socialites whose pleasure cruise turns sour, and is one of Johnson’s “all-time favourites”, according to Netflix’s Tudum website.
“There are absolutely some very clear inspirations that I took from it,” he told the site. “It begins with him sending an invitation for them to come and play this murder mystery game at this exotic locale. In The Last of Sheila, it’s on his yacht, and everything ends up going horribly wrong. That is essentially how Glass Onion begins.”
2. Movie buffs will spot some high-profile cast reunions
It’s not the first time some of the ensemble cast have worked together, as Kate Hudson (who plays fashion designer Birdie Jay) reunites with Kathryn Hahn (governer Claire Debella), who she worked with in cult 2003 rom-com How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.
There's also Daniel Craig, who's reunited with Dave Bautista (Glass Onion's influencer Duke Cody). They worked together in the James Bond film Spectre in 2015, when Bautista played Mr. Hinx - the main henchman working for Spectre, below.
3. Daniel Craig is actually a lot more fun than he makes out
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Bautista said that Craig seemed "much happier" filming Glass Onion than he did on Spectre.
"He was really put through it on Bond," says Bautista of his co-star. "You could feel that he was under a lot of pressure. He didn't seem like the happiest person on Bond, but on Glass Onion, it was the complete opposite."
Bautista adds: "He was just so much fun, and he was always smiling and happy and interacted a lot more.”
Echoing Dave Bautista’s comments, Kate Hudson told BT TV that Daniel Craig is actually a lot more fun than he makes out.
She says: “I didn’t know what to expect [with Daniel]. I’d never worked with him before. Daniel’s goofy and he’s fun and he’s self-deprecating. When you might think he’s intimidating, it goes away really quickly with Daniel.”
Watch our exclusive interview with Kate Hudson below:
4. Glass Onion is rated even better than Knives Out
Despite only having a limited theatrical release - a one-week “sneak peek” window in cinemas ahead of its global Netflix launch on December 23 - Glass Onion has received high praise from critics and fans alike.
It has a very impressive 93% Rotten Tomatoes score, based on 280 critic reviews, and a matching 93% audience score, based on 500+ verified ratings.
That’s just shy of Knives Out’s 97% critics rating, but better than its predecessor's 92% audience rating. Both films are certified 'fresh' by the review aggregation site.
It’s rated 8.0/10 on IMDB, compared to Knives Out’s 7.9/10, is named one of the National Board of Review’s top films of 2022, and dished out its Best Supporting Actress award to Janelle Monae for her role in the film. It’s also a strong Academy Award contender, so watch this space.
5. Keep your eyes peeled for some surprise celebrity cameos
Ethan Hawke was secretly cast in a minor role in Glass Onion, as his character - concealed behind large sunglasses - gives the A-list guests an oral injection, supposedly to protect them from Covid-19, before they get the boat to the Greek island.
Said character is credited only as 'Efficient Man'.
According to IMDB, his cameo wasn't planned in advance - it came about because he happened to be in nearby Budapest shooting the Disney+ series Moon Knight, and travelled to Greece for a day to shoot his scene.
But he’s not the only A-lister to appear in the film. Angela Lansbury (in her final, posthumous role) appears as herself in a video call with Craig’s character Benoit Blanc, alongside Stephen Sondheim (also in his final, posthumous role) in the same video call. Natasha Lyonne also appears.
Elsewhere, Joseph Gordon-Levitt voices Miles's clock, the Hourly Dong, and Jeremy Renner, and Jared Leto, are also referenced throughout. Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn was also mentioned, which she amazed about, she tweeted:
6. The film’s title Glass Onion came from a Beatles track
The movie's title Glass Onion refers to The Beatles song, Glass Onion, from the band's White Album.
According to Netflix’s Tudum, Johnson wanted the film's title to refer to something hidden in plain sight - so he chose "glass" because it is clear.
Then, he searched his phone for songs with the word “glass” and he landed on Glass Onion by the Beatles.
The Glass Onion is referenced throughout, as it's the name for the large crystalline dome that sits atop Miles’ island compound (Benoit Blanc is pictured in it, below).
7. Glass Onion is Daniel Craig’s first film post-Bond retirement
In 2021, Daniel Craig famously retired from playing 007, after appearing in five James Bond films as the British secret agent - Casino Royale (2006); Quantum of Solace (2008); Skyfall (2012); Spectre (2015); and No Time to Die (2021).
In an interview with Los Angeles Times, Craig said that he needed to retire from Bond - in a role that he’d played for 15 years - so that he could move on with films like Glass Onion.
“I’m very, very fortunate as an actor to have got to a stage in my career where I can now go, ‘You know what? I’m gonna pick and choose,’” Craig said.
“I have a family that I need to be with most of the time, until they hate me, and then I can go away and do some work. That’s more important to me right now.
“And also I just want to do the work I really desperately want to do, as opposed to work that I should do. I want to be passionate about the jobs I do, so I try and be as picky as I can.”
8. Kate Hudson had some wardrobe issues in Greece
Birdie Jay’s costumes are are some of the best in Glass Onion, with whole articles dedicated to Hudson’s character’s wardrobe.
But the seasonal weather was something of a challenge for Hudson when it came to her wardrobe accessories - particularly the gusty winds on the Greek island of Spetses.
She told BT TV: “Greece gets windy so the hats were like a character on their own. At one point, we had 500 Bobby pins in my head with the hat, especially with the orange one.
“We couldn’t keep that thing on. But wardrobe malfunctions, not really, other than hats flying all over the place!”
9. Kaley Cuoco lost out on the role of Birdie Jay to Kate Hudson
It’s hard to imagine anyone else in the role of Birdie Jay, but it turns out that The Big Bang Theory actress Kaley Cuoco auditioned for it - and was “devastated” not to get it.
In an interview with Glamour, Cuoco shared: “I was convinced [the part was mine]. Kate Hudson ended up getting it. But I was so convinced that my bags were packed for Greece.
“And then I didn’t get it. I was so devastated. And I’m not [normally] devastated over roles. I had done chemistry reads, I had done Zooms. And I didn’t get it. I cried and I cried all night long.”
She continued: “I thought I was on fire, like, I’m for sure getting that. And they were like, ‘No, we’re going to go with Kate.’”
However, Cuoco said she “couldn’t be happier with how things turned out. That’s what it was supposed to be, and Knives is going to be great and Kate’s great. She was supposed to do it and I was supposed to do this. And maybe I’ll get to audition for the third one.”
10. The cast and crew filmed on location in Greece
Location filming took place on the affluent Greek island of Spetses in June and July 2021, with Rian Johnson telling Netflix that he stumbled upon the perfect location - Villa 20 at the Amanzoe in Porto Heli - and just knew he had to shoot there.
What's more, the setting reportedly doubled as a hotel for the cast, many of whom brought their families along during filming.
“It felt like a summer vacation where we also made a movie,” Johnson told Tudum.
Kate Hudson tells BT TV of filming in Greece: “It was a very nourishing experience because we all had so much fun together and we all had really good work to be doing.
“It just sort of felt like this refreshing, reconnection of why we love making movies. This is the way it should be, the way you long for the way movies to be!”
11. The film acknowledges Covid-19 throughout
It's revealed at the beginning of Glass Onion that the film is set in May 2020, at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
But rather than pretend it doesn’t exist, which is what a lot of other major movies and TV shows have done, it acknowledges the pandemic throughout.
For example, characters are actually seen wearing face masks, and employees hold meetings over Zoom. Benoit Blanc even complains about being out of work!
The storyline is something of a reflection of how the cast and crew had to film, as production took place in summer 2021, when some limitations still existed.
Kate Hudson explains to BT TV that while most of the filming took place in Greece, they also filmed in Belgrade, Serbia, where they "had to be very closed-in because the [Covid-19] Delta variant was peaking".
12. Miles Bron is inspired by Elon Musk
The villain character of tech billionaire Miles Bron (played by Edward Norton, below) shares a not-so-subtle resemblance to new Twitter CEO, Elon Musk.
“If you think the shoe fits, then they were probably in our conversation,” said Edward Norton about whether or not his character was inspired by Musk.
“But I also think Miles is kind of like the Carly Simon song ‘You’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you.’
I think a lot of [tech billionaires] will think it’s about them. And that’s fine!”
13. Benoit Blanc is revealed to be gay
We can’t say too much about this plot point without spoiling the movie, but it is revealed in Glass Onion that Daniel Craig’s character Benoit Blanc is gay.
That’s because we catch a glimpse of his live-in male lover - whose identity we will keep a secret.
Speaking at a press conference following the film’s premiere at London Film Festival, Rian Johnson was asked whether Blanc was queer in reference to the aforementioned scene.
“Yes, he obviously is,” Johnson responded to the question. He added, of Blanc's male lover: “There’s nobody in the world I can imagine in bringing me more joy for Benoit Blanc to be with.”
According to Deadline, Craig later added: “No spoilers: who wouldn’t want to live with that person?”
14. Daniel Craig 'forgot' his Benoit Blanc accent before filming Glass Onion
Daniel Craig's Southern American accent was a major talking point following the release of 2019's Knives Out. But, Craig reveals, he "forgot" it before filming Glass Onion.
“I’d forgotten the accent, and I didn’t want to do a pastiche,” Craig tells Empire Magazine in a recent interview.
So, to prepare for the role again, Craig worked with dialect coach Diego Daniel Pardo for about four months before the Knives Out sequel started filming.
“I wanted to make it as grounded and as anchored in reality as possible,” Craig continued.
15. There’s going to be a Knives Out 3 - and Daniel Craig will be back!
Knives Out was an unexpected success back in Christmas 2019 - it became a word-of-mouth hit, with box office takings of $312 million, on a $40 million budget.
It also received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics - including a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes - and Johnson earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay.
It’s little surprise that Netflix snapped up the rights to two further Knives Out sequels for a staggering $469 million (£387 million).
Netflix outbid Amazon and Apple to get its hands on the rights to Benoit Blanc's mysteries, in one of the biggest streamer movie deals in history.
A third instalment is almost certainly on its way. For now this episode is untitled, although it is pencilled in for release in 2024.
In November 2022, Johnson said in an interview with Deadline that he will start to write the third movie in early 2023.
In an interview with the LA Times, Daniel Craig confessed: “Nothing’s as creatively exciting to me right now as figuring out what the third one could be that’s completely different from both Glass Onion and Knives Out.”
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is released on Netflix globally on 23 December 2022.