We have put together a list of everything we know about Wake Up Dead Man, the third Knives Out mystery film

The series of murder mysteries that began with the 2019 film Knives Out and continued with the 2022 film Glass Onion is set to keep on going with Wake Up Dead Man: A Knives Out Mystery, which has writer/director Rian Johnson back at the helm. Johnson and his collaborators are being very secretive about this project right now, but there’s a lot of hype for it – so we figured this would be a good time to start assembling a list of Everything We Know About Wake Up Dead Man. Here we go:

TITLE

Johnson got the title Knives Out from a Radiohead song. When it came time to make the sequel Glass Onion, he got the title from a song by The Beatles. So it’s only fitting that the third film in the franchise have a song-inspired title as well. But while Radiohead and The Beatles were from England, the band that inspired the third title originates from Ireland. The band is U2, and they released a song called “Wake Up Dead Man” back in 1997. We probably shouldn’t expect to glean much about the film from the lyrics, even if Glass Onion did actually feature a glass onion and Johnson said the title would give a hint as to where the story is going… but we can look them over and try. The lyrics have someone who feels alone in the world crying out to Jesus Christ, hoping to earn a place in Heaven when they reach the end of their life. The chorus, of course, gives us the line “Wake Up Dead Man.” And one particularly intriguing verse goes like this: “Were you just around the corner? Did you think to try and warn her? Or are you working on something new? If there’s an order in all of this disorder, is it like a tape recorder? Can we rewind it just once more?”

Some fans have the feeling that Wake Up Dead Man might be darker than the previous two movies, while others are leaning into the idea that it could be a musical, since Johnson is a big fan of Broadway musicals.

One thing we know is that Johnson isn’t happy about these films having A Knives Out Mystery as their subtitles, as he feels it would be more appropriate to call them A Benoit Blanc Mystery. But Knives Out is what he’s stuck with.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYoeCK3d3co

STORY

We don’t know anything about the story, which is how it should be when you’re looking forward to a mystery. We can probably expect somebody to get killed at some point, and it will be up to private investigator Benoit Blanc to figure out “who done it.” Whatever the story may be, the film is likely to have a different tone from Glass Onion, which itself had a different tone from Knives Out, being bigger and more over-the-top than its predecessor. Johnson has said that the third film will be “very, very different” from Glass Onion, and told Variety that “The goal is to strike out in a completely new direction tonally and thematically.” He recently took to his X account to say, “I love everything about whodunnits, but one of the things I love most is how malleable the genre is. There’s a whole tonal spectrum from John Dickson Carr to Agatha Christie, and getting to explore that range is one of the most exciting things about making Benoit Blanc movies.

CAST

Any Knives Out mystery has to have an impressive cast. At the heart of each film, we have Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc, and then Johnson builds awesome supporting casts around him. Knives Out co-starred Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, LaKeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell, Frank Oz, Riki Lindhome, Christopher Plummer, M. Emmet Walsh, Noah Segan, and more. Glass Onion had Craig sharing the screen with Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Kate Hudson, Dave Bautista, Jessica Henwick, Madelyn Cline, and Noah Segan, with cameos from the likes of Ethan Hawke, Stephen Sondheim, Angela Lansbury, Natasha Lyonne, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Yo-Yo Ma, Jake Tapper, and Serena Williams. Joseph Gordon-Levitt also had vocal cameos in both films.

Since the announcement of the title, we’ve been bombarded with Wake Up Dead Man casting news. This time around, Craig will be co-starring with Josh Brolin (No Country for Old Men), Josh O’Connor (The Crown), Cailee Spaeny (Priscilla), Andrew Scott (Ripley), Kerry Washington (Little Fires Everywhere), Daryl McCormack (Good Luck to You, Leo Grande), Mila Kunis (That 70s Show), Glenn Close (Fatal Attraction), and Jeremy Renner (Avengers: Endgame) – whose likeness was featured on a hot sauce in Glass Onion. Details on the characters they’ll be playing are being kept under wraps. We’re also not sure if Hugh Grant (Notting Hill) will be showing up as Phillip, Benoit’s domestic partner who had a cameo in the previous film.

Paul Giamatti (The Holdovers) has let it be known that he wants to be in Wake Up Dead Man, but he hasn’t gotten his wish so far.

TWO-PICTURE DEAL

While Knives Out was a Lionsgate release, the franchise made the jump to the Netflix streaming service when Netflix offered Craig, Johnson, and Johnson’s producing partner Ram Bergman 469 million dollars to make two Knives Out sequels for them. The first was Glass Onion and Wake Up Dead Man will be the second, so the deal will be wrapped up and we’ll have to wait and see if Johnson and Craig want to re-team for any more Benoit Blanc mysteries in the future.

Johnson has previously told Variety, “If each one of these can really be what Agatha Christie did, if it can be not just in a totally new location and a new cast, but also trying something exciting, I’ll keep doing it as long as Daniel [Craig] and I are having a good time. I’ll keep making these as long as they let me.” He also told Jess Cagle, “The same way Agatha Christie wrote a bunch of Poirot novels, we can do that with Blanc and keep making new mysteries, you know, whole new cast, whole new location, whole new mystery, it’s just another Beniot Blanc mystery. There’s so many different things you could do with it.

PRODUCTION AND RELEASE

On May 24th, Johnson said Wake Up Dead Man would be heading into production soon, and when he announced the title, the announcement video promised that we’ll be seeing the film sometime in 2025.

And that’s everything we know about Wake Up Dead Man: A Knives Out Mystery… so far…

Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/everything-we-know-wake-up-dead-man/

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