Daniel Craig has signed up to star in a murder mystery from director Rian Johnson, known for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Looper and Brick.
Set to hit the acquisitions market at the Toronto International Film Festival this week, the project, titled Knives Out, is expected to kick up a bidding war between studios and distributors.
Deadline broke the news, reporting that the film “is best described as a modern day murder mystery in the classic whodunit style.” Craig will be starring as a detective assigned to a murder case. No other plot details have been released, although there are said to be six to eight other roles still to be cast; you need the suspects, after all. Agatha Christie’s novels will be an influence.
Principal photography on Knives Out will reportedly kick off in November, during which time MGM will be reconfiguring the next James Bond film. Danny Boyle was attached to direct but pulled out last month, giving Craig a bit of time to jump on another film while the search for a new Bond helmer got underway.
“… Serendipitously, we heard Daniel might have a small window, and it worked out,” Johnson told Deadline. “He’s an actor of extraordinary range, and we are looking forward to the fun of finding that modern detective, and collaborating with Daniel on creating a new Poirot.”
While entering the big-time studio system with a film like Star Wars: The Last Jedi means that there may be quite polarising opinions of Johnson out there, his resume pre-Star Wars contains a couple of gems. He broke out with Brick, a fantastic, ultra-stylish high school crime noir starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt; con man pic The Brothers Bloom was bumpy but still worth watch; and Looper was an energetic, refreshing time-travel thriller with Levitt, Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt in very fine form.
Johnson is still attached to shepherd a new Star Wars trilogy; he’ll be directing the first film.