Netflix acquires Knives Out franchise in $400+ million deal
Last February saw the exciting announcement that Lionsgate had greenlit a sequel to Rian Johnson’s acclaimed whodunnit Knives Out but now, the franchise is seeing a major shift as Netflix is closing a deal to acquire the rights for a second and third installment in the series, according to Deadline.
Sources report that the deal came about from a discreet bidding war between Apple, Amazon and Netflix to acquire the rights, which is owned and licensed by Johnson and his producing partner and T-Street co-founder Ram Bergman on a picture-by-picture basis. Though it’s currently unclear as to why the duo elected to sell the rights to the murder mystery films to the streaming platform, word notes that Netflix won out the auction in an approximately $450 million deal.
The first film was acquired by Media Rights Capital, who sold it to Lionsgate and sources report helped sell the follow-ups to Netflix. In addition to the sale, exciting word has broken that the first of the sequels is expected to begin shooting in Greece on June 28 with casting set to begin immediately.
Knives Out first hit theaters in November 2019 to rave reviews from critics, garnering three Golden Globe nominations and an Oscar nod for Best Original Screenplay, and was a smash hit at the box office, grossing over $311 million at the global box office on its $40 million budget.
The original paid tribute to the celebrated works of Agatha Christie, plotting a modern-day murder mystery in which renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey is found dead at his estate the morning after his 85th birthday, sparking the interest of stylish private detective Benoit Blanc to investigate. Weaving his way through the eccentric Thrombey family and his devoted staff, Blanc must see through the intricate web of lies and red herrings to determine the truth behind Thrombey’s demise.
The ensemble roster for the film was led by Daniel Craig (No Time to Die) as Blanc and Christopher Plummer (All the Money in the World) as Harlan alongside Ana de Armas (Blade Runner 2049), Chris Evans (Avengers: Endgame), Michael Shannon (The Shape of Water), Lakeith Stanfield (Judas and the Black Messiah), Don Johnson (Django Unchained), Katherine Langford (Love, Simon), Toni Collette (Hereditary), Riki Lindhome (Kidding), Edi Patterson (The Righteous Gemstones), Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween), Jaeden Martell (Defending Jacob) and Noah Segan (The Pale Door).