‘Wake Up Dead Man: A Knives Out Mystery’ Guide: Everything to Know About Rian Johnson’s Latest Whodunnit

A new game’s afoot and fans are foaming at the mouth for more information. Not because they’ve been poisoned, but because Rian Johnson’s latest installment in the “Knives Out” mystery series is starting to peek out through the fog. Day-by-day, new information has been revealed, from the title announcement to a plethora of casting details, and based on what we already know, the third mystery in the chronicles of Southern sleuth Benoit Blanc is shaping up to be another star-filled whodunnit and one of next year’s most anticipated sequels.

Earning almost 8x its budget and rave reviews across the board, “Knives Out” (2019) was a runaway hit and remains one of the greatest mystery films of all time. The fact that it came as a wholly original concept from Johnson makes it all the more unique. Perhaps not since “The Matrix” has a non-IP project made this much of an impact and once it crossed the $100 million mark at the box office, a sequel became a foregone conclusion. Somewhat ironically, rather than stick with original distributors Lionsgate, Johnson signed a deal with Netflix that would guarantee him a massive payday and two sequels, but deny him a full theatrical release for these films.

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His first sequel as part of the deal, “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” was also a critical darling, but with no wide release, only earned $15 million at the box office. It remains one of the most watched movies on Netflix, but no matter what, with his deal in place, Johnson gets to continue his series with at least one more film. Though perhaps not exactly as he’d like to. Along with the minimal theatrical window, Netflix also insisted on the “Knives Out” subtitle on each sequel, whereas Johnson said that he preferred a new title for each, both to mirror famous mystery novels and to not draw conclusions in relation to the franchise being serialized. 

One of the pleasures of these films is Johnson’s ability to keep us guessing, so in that spirit and in tradition with the series, along with gathering the hard facts, we’ll also do our best to connect the dots about the upcoming Benoit Blanc mystery, giving readers some possible conclusions to be reached. 

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