Further details about the recent Netflix deal for the “Knives Out” sequel have come to light over at THR with writer/director Rian Johnson, producer Ram Bergman and star Daniel Craig reportedly all potentially walking away with upwards of $100 million each from the deal.
Netflix closed the $469 million deal with Johnson and his producing partner, a pact that reportedly gives Johnson immense creative control and he doesn’t have to take any notes from the streamer.
In fact the only contingencies were that Craig must star in the sequels, and that each must have at least the $40 million budget of the 2019 film. MRC financed the first film but Johnson and Bergman have always controlled the rights to the franchise so they apparently had no issue with the move.
Johnson and Bergman were considered big backers of the theatrical experience, the pandemic changed things and they questioned the near-term viability of theatrical releasing. As a result, the project was shopped around and Netflix pounced so hard MRC and original film distributor Lionsgate could not compete.
One source tells the trade: “Yes, it’s overpaying but Netflix is playing chess while everyone else is playing checkers. It takes a proven theatrical commodity off the board and puts it in their pocket. And it’s another way they re-educate audiences to think of streaming and their company above a studio.”
Filming on the first of the sequels kicks off in June in Greece.