‘Knives Out’, premiering Saturday night at the Toronto International Film Festival, is the new mystery whodunit from writer-director Rian Johnson. The movie revolves around the murder of a wealthy crime novelist following his 85th birthday party at his lavish estate.
Looking like another smart, knowing and fresh take on genre storytelling along the lines of Johnson’s earlier movies ‘Brick’, ‘The Brothers Bloom’, ‘Looper’, and, indeed, ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’, it also seems to have pulled together a freewheeling supergroup of a cast, including Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Christopher Plummer and Don Johnson.
In other words, you’ll get James Bond, Captain America, Laurie Strode, Baron von Trapp and Sonny Crockett all in one movie, along with Toni Collette, Michael Shannon, Lakeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell, Noah Segan and Ana de Armas.
But since ‘Knives Out’ is also the title of a song by Radiohead released on their 2001 album, ‘Amnesiac’, the question bears asking — is ‘Knives Out’ in ‘Knives Out’?”
“It’s not. I doubt we could afford that,” Johnson said with a laugh during a recent interview ahead of the movie’s premiere. “If you’re showing up with that in mind, you’ll be disappointed. But if when you see the title, you start humming the song in your head, that doesn’t cost us a dime.”
Instead, Radiohead fans at the Toronto Film Festival will have to make due with Thom Yorke’s new song ‘Daily Battles’ in the Edward Norton film ‘Motherless Brooklyn’, which screens next week following a recent premiere at the Telluride Film Festival.
Despite his film’s lack of Radiohead on the soundtrack, Johnson says the song is, nevertheless, where the movie’s title came from.
“Obviously, the movie has nothing to do with the song. I’m just a massive Radiohead fan, and I love that album and I love that song,” said Johnson. “That phrase, that turn of phrase has always stuck in my head. And it just seemed like a great title for a murder mystery. So apologies to Thom [Yorke] and [producer] Nigel [Godrich] and everyone in Radiohead. I hope they’re okay with it.”