In 2019, we have seen many movies hit the big screen with outrageously great ensemble casts, but unquestionably ranking as one of the best is the group of actors that have come together to star in KNIVES OUT. Writer/director Rian Johnson went all out when trying to find the right performers to play his large group of characters, and he ended up hiring some of the best in the business.
In an exclusive interview with AMC, Johnson said, "There’s an old adage that 90 percent of directing is casting, and it really is true. If you put the right people in the movie and you have a script that works, you can kind of just, like, sit back and enjoy the show."
So, who can audiences expect to see in KNIVES OUT, and what role will they play in the whodunit? To prepare you for the movie’s forthcoming release, allow us to break it down for you.
Daniel Craig already has solidified his place in pop culture history with his run in the JAMES BOND franchise, but here he gets to add another potentially iconic character to his resume. In the movie, he plays the crucial role of Benoit Blanc, a Kentucky-fried private detective hired to solve the case at the center of the plot.
Said case at the center of the plot in KNIVES OUT is the question of whether or not somebody murdered author/publishing legend Harlan Thrombey, who is played in the movie by veteran star Christopher Plummer (BEGINNERS, ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD). And while you might think that the fact that his character is murdered might limit his screen time, flashbacks provide plenty of opportunity for Plummer to show his skills.
Ana de Armas
While most of the cast in KNIVES OUT play members of the Thrombey family, Ana de Armas stars as the only suspect not related by blood or marriage. The BLADE RUNNER 2049 and KNOCK KNOCK actress plays Marta, the longtime private nurse for Harlan Thrombey who also became his closest confidant in the months before his death.
Playing Walt Thrombey, the oldest living son of Harlan, is brilliant character actor Michael Shannon. The two-time Academy Award® nominee (NOCTURNAL ANIMALS, REVOLUTIONARY ROAD) has a significant role to play within the Thrombey estate, having run his father’s publishing company for years.
Best known for his role as Bill Denbrough in IT and IT CHAPTER TWO, Jaeden Martell plays a very different kind of role in KNIVES OUT. Jacob Thrombey is the son of Walt and unfortunately spends a lot of his time digging into fascist and racist ideology online.
Jamie Lee Curtis
Having just made a big comeback move in 2018, starring in the new HALLOWEEN, Jamie Lee Curtis returns to the big screen in 2019 to play Linda Drysdale, née Thrombey. She is Harlan’s only daughter and an immensely proud person, having not inherited any of her father’s business dealings, but instead starting a successful company of her own.
Linda got her "Drysdale" last name courtesy of husband Richard Drysdale, played by the great Don Johnson (of "Miami Vice" and DJANGO UNCHAINED fame). He happens to be both greedy and stupid, but also a key player because of a secret that Harlan knew about him.
Every family needs a black sheep, and in the case of the Thrombeys, it's Ransom, played by Chris Evans. This character, the son of Linda and Richard, is about as far away from Captain America as you can get, as he is crazy rude, overtly selfish and generally unpleasant.
Having scared the wits out of us last year in HEREDITARY, Toni Collette is back to making us laugh in KNIVES OUT, playing Joni Thrombey. While she has the family’s surname, she is only connected to the clan because she is the widow of one of Harlan’s sons. Even though her husband is dead, though, she still very much clings on to the Thrombey name.
Earlier this year, she didn’t make the final cut of AVENGERS: ENDGAME, but LOVE, SIMON star Katherine Langford does still get to share credit space with Chris Evans in KNIVES OUT. She is Meg Thrombey in the movie, the daughter of Joni, and while she is certainly a lot less horrible than most of her family, she still very much possesses the greed gene.
Lastly, we have the brilliant Lakeith Stanfield as one of KNIVES OUT’s few non-suspects. The SORRY TO BOTHER YOU star has a key role to play in the mystery as Lt. Elliott, the lead police officer assigned to determine whether or not Harlan Thrombey was killed or took his own life.
Needless to say, KNIVES OUT is stacked with talent, both in front of and behind the camera. Hear more from writer/director Rian Johnson about the incredible cast, his favorite scene to shoot and the murder mystery mansion as a character.
KNIVES OUT is in theatres now. Get your tickets on our website, in the mobile app or at the box office.