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SYFY WIRE Knives Out

Rian Johnson says 'Glass Onion' parallels to Elon Musk's Twitter takeover really just 'bizarre accident'

"I hope there isn’t some secret marketing department at Netflix that’s funding this Twitter takeover,” Johnson joked.

By Adam Pockross
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Did you find Edward Norton’s character in Glass Onion particularly annoying? Like annoying in the completely-out-of-touch way that only tech bro billionaires can be? Like one in particular who’s currently pissing off a whole bunch of people on Twitter? Well, that’s not entirely by design.

Though filmmaker Rian Johnson was writing the Knives Out Mystery (don’t call it that though) a couple of years back, Norton’s island-owning, expensive-toy-touting, big-disastrous-idea-having Miles Bron feels very of the moment, like he could have been molded straight from Elon Musk’s recent Twitter escapades. But as Johnson told Wired, he was just luckily prescient with the writing of his new Netflix film.

“It’s so weird. It’s very bizarre. I hope there isn’t some secret marketing department at Netflix that’s funding this Twitter takeover,” Johnson joked. “There’s a lot of general stuff about that sort of species of tech billionaire that went directly into it. But obviously, it has almost a weird relevance in exactly the current moment. A friend of mine said, ‘Man, that feels like it was written this afternoon.’ And that’s just sort of a horrible, horrible accident, you know?”

Johnson went on to note that tone-wise, Glass Onion is starkly different than the first Knives Out film, but that’s just reflecting “a pretty nightmarish kind of carnival, Fellini-esque inflated reality right now.” Alas, any time he thought of toning it down, he “would just open Twitter or turn on the news and realize it’s an honest reflection of what it feels like to be alive right now and paying attention to these people. It needs to be ridiculous because they are ridiculous, you know?”

Coming up next month, Johnson returns to the murder-mystery genre with Peacock’s Poker Face, starring Natasha Lyonne as "accidental detective" Charlie, who possesses not just a dope Plymouth Barracuda and the extraordinary ability to know when someone is lying, but also a hankering to take both on the road solving strange and unique crimes along the way. Johnson told Wired it’s a format that lends itself especially well to weekly releases.

“Yeah, there were a lot of discussions about it behind-the-scenes. They’re gonna drop like a good number of them at first and then do the rest of them week-to-week. Honestly, I do think that doing week-to-week helps keep it in the conversation longer,” Johnson said. “It’ll be fun because people will be able to talk about the new one every week. But I want people to be able to kind of skip around if they hear an episode’s good and wanna skip to it. It is the type of show where you can actually do that.”

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is in theaters now as well as streaming on Netflix. Poker Face -- featuring a revolving cast of guest stars like Joseph Gordon Levitt, Adrien Brody, Nick Nolte, Chloë Sevigny, Ellen Barkin, Tim Meadows, Jameela Jamil, and Lil Rel Howery -- debuts Jan. 26, 2023, exclusively on Peacock.

Looking for more gumshoe work in the meantime? All seasons of Columbo and Murder She Wrote are now streaming on Peacock. You can also check out all five seasons of the original Quantum Leap with Scott Bakula, as well as the 2022 NBC revival which was recently picked up for a new season.