With Knives out, Rian Johnson introduced a gentleman detective who tackled cases with wild charisma—and food metaphors—that left us yearning for more. Now, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery takes us further down the donut hole with Benoit Blanc, setting up a whodunnit franchise with no signs of slowing down. So what could Knives out 3 about — and did Johnson drop a clue in his now-on-Netflix sequel?
In a mystery splattered with murder, cameos, celebrity commentaryand much moreit’s easy to miss a strange sound here, that’s a strange thingor a possible hint of what we might see next from Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig).
What do we know about Benoit Blanc?
Let’s take a step back to 2019 Knives out, in which the grieving Thrombey family was confused by a private detective who was in their midst. After all, their patriarch Harlan (Christopher Plummer) had died of apparent suicide. But before Blanc was completely in the whirlwind of family drama and a complicated frame job, his reputation was hinted at by a couple of comments from the interviewed relative.
“Mr. Blanc is a private investigator of great acclaim,” Lt. Elliott (LaKeith Stanfield) coldly explains to flighty self-care man Joni (Toni Collette). In response, she exclaims: “Wait a minute – I read a tweet about one One from New York article about you. The last of the men’s scouts? You solved that case with the tennis champion – you’re famous!”
Cut to tough businesswoman Linda (Jamie Lee Curtis), who actually reads the profile and describes it as “lovely” before demanding to know why Benoit is here. The fun ends there.
So, Benoit is a famous Gentleman detective because of this One from New York profile. He later mentions that his father was a police detective who knew Harlan years ago. But little else is revealed about this man of mystery. That is, until Glass onions leads us into his apartment. There we not only see him sulking in the bathtub between cases, but we also get a sense of his circle of famous friends, which includes fellow murder mystery enthusiasts Stephen Sondheim, Angela Lansbury, Natasha Lyonne and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He also has a partner in Philip, a baking enthusiast played by a dashing Hugh Grant.
However, it is while Benoit is throwing a quirky party on the private island of billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton) that one of his fellow guests drops an intriguing detail about a famous past case.
Did Glass onions setting up a potential prequel?
When the “disturbers” gather on a pier in Greece, they are confused to see a stranger among them. But Governor Claire Debella (Kathryn Hahn) recognized the smartly dressed gentleman, or at least his name.
“My God, Detective Benoit Blanc?” Clare asks. “Did you solve the murder of – oh -”
And here you might suspect she’ll say “Harlan Thrombey” or “that murder mystery writer” or maybe even “that tennis champion.” All of these would be callbacks to Knives out which fitted well into the puzzle of Benoit Blanc. Instead, Claire continues, “Did you solve the murder of the – oh – what’s-the-name-ballet-dancer-thing, that’s you?”
Such a vague sentence might mean nothing in another film. But among the many glass balls that adorn Miles’ cave is a statue of three ballerinas. And with all the clues and allusions hidden inside Glass onions, it doesn’t feel like a coincidence. It feels like Johnson – who love to put easter eggs in their movies — is tantalizing what can come next.
So let’s consider the possibilities with some wild speculation.
Knives out 3 is about a ballerina murder case.
Examining Claire’s comment, we can assume that a ballerina was mysteriously murdered, and none other than Benoit Blanc took the case. But looking back, Claire’s remark is uncalled for – perhaps in the politician’s way – in that she sets up murder, can’t remember the name of the female victim, and then rambles on about “ballet dancer stuff”.
Gender norms may encourage us to assume that ballet dancer is the name. But men and non-binary people dance ballet too. So perhaps this fractured mind tumbles the victim and the killer together.
In either case, this can mean that Knives out 3 could be a prequel, looking back at an intriguing investigation that took place between the Thrombeys (and it One from New York profile) and Benoit’s strange Greek holiday. Unless…
Knives out 3 was teased in Knives out.
Claire is a governor, works from home and is running for re-election. So it’s safe to say she’s caught the news. This is why I trust that even her encrypted message is a clue worth analyzing. But perhaps her fumbling with the details is a sign that this ballerina news is actually quite old. Perhaps it is even the story that was referred to in the previous years One from New York profile.
While I would trust strict, detail-oriented Linda to accurately remember the details of the case in the middle of the profile, Joni is a far less reliable witness. She mentions a “tennis champion” but also notes that she actually didn’t read the article. She read a tweet about it. Did she get it wrong? Was it not a case about a tennis champion, but actually one about a killer (or killed) ballerina?
Or is Johnson using both of these lines to set up a prequel that will be the crazy case that puts Benoit on the map (and out of his father’s shadow)? Maybe it’s a crime involving a tennis champion and a ballet dancer. Perhaps one killed the other, or vice versa, or one was accused and Benoit was their path to justice, just as he was for an overwhelmed nurse and a grieving school teacher.
Truthfully, the only one who knows for sure is Rian Johnson. Nevertheless, there is a thrill in playing Benoit himself as we await another chapter of these addictive adventures.
Glass onions now streaming on Netflix.