Wake Up Dead Man: Knives Out 3 names first co-stars

Rian Johnson’s Knives Out threequel, Wake Up Dead Man, has just revealed two of the new stars.

UPDATE: Well, that didn’t take long. In the few days since Rian Johnson announced he was making a third Knives Out movie, Wake Up Dead Man, two cast members have already been announced – and they’re buzzy. Fresh off of his role in Challengers, Josh O’Connor jumps into the latest whodunit, along with Priscilla, Civil War and Alien: Romulus star Cailee Spaeny. Of course, they’re just the first two in what’s bound to be another star-studded cast. Expect the rest of the cast to be revealed soon, as pretty much everyone wants to be in these movies, so I imagine Rian Johnson has his pick.

ORIGINAL STORY: Writer/director Rian Johnson got the title for his 2019 murder mystery Knives Out from a Radiohead song. When it came time to make the 2022 sequel Glass Onion, he got the title from a song by The Beatles. So it’s only fitting that the third film in the franchise have a song-inspired title as well. But while Radiohead and The Beatles were from England, the band that inspired the third title originates from Ireland. The band is U2, and the title for the third Knives Out movie comes from their song Wake Up Dead Man. Johnson made the title announcement by sharing the video that’s embedded above.

No plot details have been revealed, but we can count on Daniel Craig to reprise the role of private investigator Benoit Blanc in the new film. Like Glass Onion, Wake Up Dead Man will be released through the Netflix streaming service. Here’s the logline: Benoit Blanc returns in his most dangerous case yet.

Back in January of 2023, Johnson told Empire Magazine that the follow-up to Knives Out and Glass Onion would be his next film because “it’s the most exciting thing right now to me. That’s served me really well. I feel like any movie I’m making, I need to be making it because I can’t imagine doing anything else. I’m jumping into the next Benoit Blanc next because I can’t think about another story.

We have to address the fact that the full title for Glass Onion is actually Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, and the full title for Wake Up Dead Man is Wake Up Dead Man: A Knives Out Mystery. Hopefully Johnson has made his peace with these extended titles, because he was upset about it when A Knives Out Mystery got slapped onto Glass Onion. He told The Atlantic, “I’ve tried hard to make them self-contained. Honestly, I’m pissed off that we have A Knives Out Mystery in the title. I want it to just be called Glass Onion. I get it, and I want everyone who liked the first movie to know this is next in the series, but also, the whole appeal to me is it’s a new novel off the shelf every time. But there’s a gravity of a thousand suns toward serialized storytelling.

What do you think of the third movie in this franchise being titled Wake Up Dead Man – or, officially, Wake Up Dead Man: A Knives Out Mystery? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Source: Rian Johnson

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of JoBlo.com, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.