Everything we know about the third ‘Knives Out’ film

'Wake Up Dead Man' is set to star everyone from Josh O'Connor to... Lindsay Lohan?

The first Knives Out film was pretty good. The second was kind of meh. And the third? It’s said to be called Wake Up Dead Man, and is going to star some of the hottest “It” guys and gals of the acting world. Yesterday it was confirmed that the third instalment of director Rian Johnson’s murder mystery franchise would star Josh O’Connor (Challengers; La chimera) and Cailee Spaeny (Civil War). Also on the cards is none other than Lindsay Lohan (who’s fresh off the back off her magnum opus Irish Wish) and Tom Hardy (Mad Max: Fury Road).

Knives Out, released back in 2019, follows detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) as he investigates the murder of crime novelist Harlan Thrombey, and tries to deduce which of the sprawling, rather combative family (everyone from Toni Collette to Jamie Lee Curtis played one of them) did the crime. The second instalment, 2022’s Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, did something similar, but transposed all the action onto a tech billionaire’s lavish island. If we had to describe the essence of the Knives Out franchise, we’d say it’s the kind of film you can chuck on on boxing day and your grandparents won’t fall sleep while watching it. Not much is known about the plot of Wake Up Dead Man, but it’s fairly cut and dry that Craig will reprise the role of Benoit Blanc for a third time, and (obviously) there’ll be a murder. In a teaser that Johnson posted to X, it was described as the detective’s “most dangerous case yet”. Wake Up Dead Man is set to start filming next month, meaning it will be released some time in 2025.

But back to the casting – though it’s by no means odd that talents like O’Connor and Spaeny have taken on roles, it’s somewhat of a segue from their work with slightly “cooler” directors like Luca Guadagnino (Challengers), Alice Rohrwacher (La chimera), Alex Garland (Civil War), and Sofia Coppola (Priscilla). As one user on X pointed out, both the actors “deserve better than direct-to-streaming”. It was also only mere weeks ago, during Challengers press, that O’Connor talked about just how much he was dreading his increased fame thanks to the much-loved tennis film.

Still, it’s unlikely (here’s hoping) that Wake Up Dead Man will be bad. Apparently, anything O’Connor touches turns into gold — that was certainly the fate of Guadagnino’s Challengers, possibly the most hypey film of all time. And La chimera must be setting some kind of record for the most esoteric and niche film to become fodder for online stan and/or meme accounts. Also, there’s ways to make Wake Up Dead Man play to its stars’ strengths. As the same user on X pointed out, “maybe Rian [Johnson] will let Josh kiss Daniel Craig”. Knives Out, but gay? We’re here for it.

WriterAmber Rawlings
Banner Image CreditLa chimera / Tempesta