A Knives Out 2 dream cast
It seems as if Knives Out 2 will continue the short, but proud Knives Out tradition of having an absolutely stacked ensemble: Just this week, it was announced that Dave Bautista, Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, and Kathryn Hahn would appear opposite Daniel Craig in Rian Johnson’s sequel. In anticipation of more rock solid casting announcements, The A.V. Club is offering its own picks for potential Knives Out alums with this week’s AVQ&A:
Who would you like to see cast in Knives Out 2?
Okay, imagine this: Benoit Blanc, ridiculous accent in tow, sets up a meeting with the head of a mysterious crime syndicate that’s somehow linked to his latest case. He walks into a smoke-filled, shadowy office, and observes the figure, large as a mountain, seated behind the big mahogany desk. The man leans into the light… and we see Arnold Schwarzenegger’s craggy face, steadily assessing our favorite donut-hole-loving dick. Schwarzenegger has shown a willingness to underplay in recent years, after a lifetime of hardcore mugging, and the idea of him playing a taciturn, reserved heavy opposite Daniel Craig’s Southern motormouth—fulfilling the film’s “Who’s the biggest star you haven’t thought about in a second?” quota in the process—is genuinely thrilling to me. [William Hughes]
I’d like to give Rian Johnson a challenge here with an actor who doesn’t necessarily slot into an ensemble like this very easily anymore: Keanu Reeves. He was so good in Always Be My Maybe, and it would be fun to see him either rein in his usual coolness or go completely off-the-wall for Knives Out 2. I’m picturing him as an eccentric foreign oligarch known only as The Count, with a big mustache and nonsensical military regalia. He’d be a lead suspect early on, because he’d seem very imposing, but deep down he’d be a real sweetie. [Sam Barsanti]
An obviously talented leading lady, Michelle Pfeiffer just as effortlessly exudes the camp and quirk of a beloved character actor. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to envision Pfeiffer as a wealthy eccentric whom Blanc just can’t solve. (Her underappreciated turn in last year’s utterly bizarre French Exit is the exact vibe of the character I imagine for her.) Bonus points if Rian Johnson gets her to sing. Yes, that’s it: She’s a former Broadway starlet whose producer husband died years ago, spiraling her further into her eccentricities and fueling her desire to find any chance to perform—be it for an audience of thousands or just for Blanc. [Patrick Gomez]
There’s nothing that would be more fitting to Daniel Craig’s “Sherlock Holmes by way of Foghorn Leghorn” detective than to give him a polar opposite—a nefarious Moriarty as cool and subtle as he is brash and brusque. And to those ends, I can think of no one better than Shohreh Aghdashloo, an Oscar-nominated actor with the most honey-and-gravel-throated vocal chops this side of Leonard Cohen. Her charismatic knack for underplaying mysterious characters would make an excellent foil for Craig’s protagonist, notwithstanding the fact that it’s bizarre no one has already given this woman her own murder mystery series. Plus, she can already make you fall asleep using nothing but the power of her voice. [Alex McLevy]
6 / 10
Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub
Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub
I may be really testing the limits of the $450 million Netflix paid for the sequels, but why not reunite The Big Night brothers, Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub. Now, this is a conditional casting, one where they must play opposite each other in every scene. Just imagine the mild-mannered Tucci attempt to control a prickly Shalhoub to the dismay and frustration of Benoit Blanc. Isn’t that a world you want to live in? Furthermore, the addition of Shalhoub will help counteract any feelings that Tucci is in danger of becoming overexposed, bringing the actor back to that happy-to-see-him sweet spot where he belongs. [Matt Schimkowitz]
Please let Dev Patel do more fictional knife throwing and killing (you know, in a brattier way than The Green Knight or his upcoming Chippendales movie). The actor is evidently versatile, as seen in somber performances (Lion, Hotel Mumbai) and funnier TV roles (Skins, The Newsroom). The Knives Out franchise is the perfect setting for him to dial up the charm, especially if he goes head-to-head against Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc after this fun incident with Craig and his mother during the BAFTA’s. Plus, Dev and his whooshing curly hair can really pull off another Chris Evans-like “white knit sweater” fashion phenomenon. Make it happen, Rian Johnson. [Saloni Gajjar]
Kelly Marie Tran
Thanks to William’s brilliant pick, my gut response is Danny DeVito (the Twins reunion we never knew we wanted!), though I have to go with my heart here and say Kelly Marie Tran—it’s what she deserves! At this point, it’s not worth re-hashing what a disservice The Rise Of Skywalker did to her charming character Rose Tico, nor should any more lip service be paid to the racists in the Star Wars fandom, but Rian Johnson could make a sly move of filmic retribution by bringing Tran into the Knives Out fold. Karma aside, Tran would no doubt thrive in the series’ wily world, her talent as both a comedic and dramatic actor making her an ideal foil to Benoit Blanc, à la Ana de Armas in the first movie. [Cameron Scheetz]
Kelvin Harrison Jr.
I’m here to humbly ask Hollywood to put Kelvin Harrison Jr. in more things! He has the onscreen charisma to go toe-to-toe with anyone in KO2’s increasingly stacked cast. He has movie-star looks, filling the handsome void left in Chris Evans’ absence. But more than anything, he’s just a tremendously talented actor. He proved himself to be a more-than-adept performer when it comes to concealing character motives with his chilling performance as the title character in 2019’s Luce. Those skills would perfectly slot in to a whodunit. [Baraka Kaseko]