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Sunday / August 28 / 2022

New Images from ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is featured in the October issue of Empire Magazine! They also shared a new still of Daniel reprising his role as Benoit Blanc. The much-anticipated sequel is gearing up for its premiere at next month’s Toronto International Film Festival. In the meantime, check out the new images in our gallery! I will be updating it with scans of the feature as soon as I get my hands on them.

Even after hanging up 007’s Walther PPK, Daniel Craig is still on a mission. Fresh from his Bond finale in No Time To Die, he’s got a brand new murder-mystery to solve as Benoit Blanc in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery – Rian Johnson’s hugely-anticipated not-exactly-a-sequel to Knives Out. With the first film, the director and his leading man caught everyone off-guard – with Blanc’s wild Southern accent, with the film’s unexpected and unconventional twists on the whodunnit formula, and with the wit and agility of its sharp social commentary. If it was hard enough to pull off the first time, it also set the bar almightily high for Benoit Blanc’s second case.

Take it from the man himself. “How the fuck do we take something that caught people’s imagination and made them talk about murder mysteries, and do it again without it becoming a pastiche of itself?” asks Daniel Craig in Empire’s world-exclusive Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery cover story. Thankfully, in his other recently-departed job, Craig had had plenty experience of meeting, defying, and retooling the audience’s expectations – MI6 had trained him well enough to do it again. “I’ve spent the past 15 years of my life trying to do that in a franchise, so I’m not afraid of it,” he says. “If you’ve got the right people in the room and the right talent, then you can do it. Rian’s a genius writer and doesn’t want to repeat [himself]. Neither do we want to let people down; we want audiences to enjoy the world that we created in the first one and believe in this one.”

For Johnson, who returns as writer-director, Glass Onion represented a chance to place Benoit Blanc at the centre of the movie – the doughnut hole, if you will – after having him on the periphery of the Marta-centric plot in Knives Out. And audiences will get a little more insight into the man himself this time – if not through rote exposition. “There’s definitely more Blanc, but it’s not very interesting to me, the notion of building out Benoit’s life,” Johnson explains. “Like with Poirot and Miss Marple, what’s fun is how the elements of Benoit’s character reveal themselves through his act of solving each one of these mysteries.”

For Craig, the real challenge was slipping back into Blanc’s Kentucky-fried tones – a surprise and a delight in the first film, but one that could easily tip over into caricature if not carefully calibrated. “I went away to work with an accent coach for three or four months before we started shooting [Glass Onion],” Craig reveals. “I’d forgotten the accent and I didn’t want to do a pastiche. I wanted to make it as grounded and as anchored in reality as possible.” Benoit Blanc is back and ready to breathe new life into the murder-mystery genre once more – Glass Onion looks set to be another smash.

EMPIRE

Monday / March 09 / 2020

Daniel Craig for British GQ

It seems like the new shoot didn’t get postponed after all. Daniel is on the cover of next month’s issue of British GQ! I have added some outtakes into the gallery, including the cover.

All of which means, now that it’s coming to an end, Craig sometimes struggles to comprehend what has happened to him and what he has achieved. When I spent time with him last winter, Craig was warm and voluble in the extreme. He talked a mile a minute, losing threads and finding others. He apologised when answering my questions almost as often as he swore. On screen, Craig’s face – that beautiful boxer’s face, those gas-ring eyes – can have a worrying stillness, while his body moves. In real life, everything about Craig is animated, part-sprung. It’s as if he wants to occupy several spots in the room at once. He self-deprecates a lot. During one long conversation, when I told him he had managed to imbue a previously vacant character with an inner life, a sense of mortality and an unquenchable feeling of loss – in short, that he had triumphed as Bond – Craig initially misunderstood what I meant. When he realised, he spluttered apologetically for a while. “What you’re saying, it’s like, if I say it…” he hesitated. He couldn’t bear to brag. But he also knew. “It’s raised the bar,” Craig finally conceded. “It’s fucking raised the bar.”

After the last shot at Pinewood, Craig posed with Fukunaga for a picture. His bow tie was wonky. They both looked shattered. “Typically I’m not an emotional person on sets,” Fukunaga told me. “But there was sort of a pulsing feeling to that day.” The night shoot wrapped ahead of schedule and the production crew – many of the day team had stayed on to see Craig’s final bow – gathered next to the set. Fukunaga gave a short speech. Craig struggled through his. Since having a daughter with his wife, Rachel Weisz, in 2018, he has often found himself on the edge of tears. (Craig also has an adult daughter from an earlier marriage.) “I had a whole thing kind of put together in my head that I wanted to say,” he recalled. “I couldn’t get it out.” 

Craig’s stunt double was in tears. Broccoli and Wilson looked on. “We knew it was a monumental moment,” Broccoli said. “There wasn’t a dry eye, to be honest.” A crowd went back to Craig’s trailer. He drank Campari and tonics and made Negronis for everyone else. “I was a mess,” Broccoli said. “I was a complete and utter mess.” On set, the crew hung around. “It’s night shooting – everybody usually runs off,” Wilson told me. “And they just were talking with each other and shaking hands. And it was as if they knew it had to end, but they didn’t like the idea.”

The producers were reminiscing a few weeks later in a hotel in Lower Manhattan. It was early December. That morning, Craig and the other stars of No Time To Die – Léa Seydoux, Rami Malek and Lashana Lynch – had appeared on Good Morning America to launch the trailer. Crosby Street was a parking lot of celebrities’ black SUVs. Watching the trailer on my phone, like the rest of the world, the 25th Bond movie didn’t look a whole lot different from the 24th or the 23rd. The trailer showed Bond zooming a motorbike up some picturesque steps and Malek, as the baddie, in a worrying mask. There was some evident double-crossing.

Craig, however, did seem like a new person as he prepared to step away from the franchise. He was keen to celebrate his work as Bond and even keener to look forward to whatever is coming next. “I’m really… I’m OK,” he told me. “I don’t think I would have been if I’d done the last film and that had been it. But this, I’m like…” He dusted his hands. “Let’s go. Let’s get on with it. I’m fine.” 

You can read the full interview at British GQ website!

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