Daniel Craig returning for two 'Knives Out' sequels for Netflix in blockbuster deal
Netflix has agreed a deal for two sequels to 2019 whodunnit Knives Out, the streaming giant said.
The company did not say how much it had paid for the films, but Deadline, which broke the news, said it would be worth more than $400 million (£290 million).
That would make the deal one of the most expensive ever for a streamer, in what is an increasingly competitive market. The sequels were said to be the subject of a bidding war between Apple, Amazon and Netflix. The first sequel will begin shooting this June in Greece with casting announcements expected imminently.
Read more: Daniel Craig starred in Knives Out after James Bond was delayed
Knives Out was written and directed by Rian Johnson and starred Daniel Craig as the mysterious and debonair private detective Benoit Blanc. He is called to investigate the death of a wealthy novelist and suspicion falls on his money-grabbing family.
The ensemble cast also featured a knitwear-clad Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield and the late Christopher Plummer.
Only Craig is expected to return for the sequels, which director Johnson isn't calling Knives Out 2.
“It’s been such a mindf***, because I sat on the idea for the first one for 10 years. And with this one, I’m starting with a blank page," the filmmaker said in Interview magazine.
“It’s not really a Knives Out sequel. I need to come up with a title for it so I can stop calling it The Knives Out Sequel because it’s just Daniel Craig as the same detective with a totally new cast.”
James Bond star Craig, 53, won critical acclaim for his portrayal of Southern gentleman Blanc, while Johnson earned an Oscar nomination for best original screenplay.
Craig will reprise his role as Blanc in the sequels.
His fifth and final outing as 007, No Time To Die, is set for release in October following multiple pandemic-enforced delays.
Read more: 'The Last Jedi' director Rian Johnson says it's a 'mistake' not to challenge fans
Knives Out was a critical and commercial success and grossed over $311 million (£225 million) at the box office against a $40 million (£29 million) budget.
Netflix is the most popular streaming service, with more than 200 million subscribers around the world.
Its main rivals include Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max and Amazon Prime Video.
Watch a trailer for Knives Out below