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Glass Onion Director Rian Johnson Details How He Crafted The Film's Eclectic Characters - Exclusive

"Knives Out" was a smash hit when it came out in 2019, arguably becoming one of the best mystery movies of all time. The whodunit had long remained dormant, but writer-director Rian Johnson made it come soaring back into popularity. Of course, what's bound to happen when any original idea catches fire is that a studio's going to want to replicate the success. That's precisely what happened when Netflix commissioned at least two more "Knives Out" movies that follow the continuing adventures of Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig). 

The first of these follow-ups is "Glass Onion," which sees Benoit trade in a dusty old manor for a Greek island getaway. He goes on a trip alongside a group of "disruptors" who just want a momentary recess from the stresses of the pandemic. While they're away, a death takes place, and only Benoit can solve the case. 

Our sister site, /Film, spoke to Rian Johnson about these so-called disruptors and how he came up with a brilliant new cast of characters who all have a reason for committing murder most foul. 

The characters had to service the plot

The cast of suspects, or disruptors as they like to call themselves, consists of a politician, a cancelable celebrity, and a men's rights live-streamer. They seem to encompass every facet of the zeitgeist, and that's no accident. "Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery" has a lot to say about modern society, and in a way, it could almost be seen as a contemporary period piece. 

Rian Johnson explained his influences came from the rich tradition of whodunits. As he put it to /Film, "I'm such a fan of the whodunit genre and so many of the examples of it that I loved over the years were all period pieces set in England. And the notion of setting a whodunit in right here and now in America, that to me is kind of what got me going on all of this." Of course, these characters don't exist in a vacuum. There's a rich mystery afoot, and their character arcs all function to tell a compelling narrative. 

Johnson continues, "I mean plot, I think it makes you think of mystery and the story is really kind of, okay, who's this thing about? What is the audience actually leaning forward following and excited about? And then based on the needs of the story, I fill it out with the characters." In terms of both plot and characters, "Glass Onion" excels, offering one of the best films of the year.

"Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery" premieres in theaters on November 23, 2022, for one week only. It comes to Netflix on December 23, 2022.