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What is ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’ based on?

Murder isn't the only question on the minds of fans who have come to love the budding franchise.

Knives Out

A new Netflix mystery is set to release later this year following the breakout success of its predecessor, director Rian Johnson’s Knives Out.

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A beautifully crafted tale of murder and misdirection, Knives Out undeniably reignited our collective appetite for slow-burning thrillers, which is why news of its successor, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, has been met with great enthusiasm from fans. Glass Onion looks to expand upon the eccentric and character-driven world created by Johnson while also bringing an entirely new slew of suspects to the table.

Daniel Craig’s Southern sleuth, Detective Benoit Blanc, looks to be the only character returning from the first film, alluding to the larger continuity within the Knives Out universe and matching Johnson’s claim that the second film will not be a direct sequel, but rather a fresh story with its own look, tone, and ambition. This firmly establishes Blanc’s status as the series lead and, much like Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot, proves that Benoit Blanc will move forward in the series as a transient detective primed to solve new mysteries in each subsequent entry.

Whereas the first Knives Out dealt with an irregular family caught in the midst of cold-blooded murder, Glass Onion looks to take the franchise in an entirely new direction narratively, welcoming new players to the game along with a litany of fresh challenges. With that in mind, do we know what the sequel is based on, if anything?

What inspired Glass Onion?

Glass Onion will undeniably expand upon the established canon and pull inspiration from its predecessor to influence its overall aesthetic, likely with quirky set pieces and wonderful costuming similar to what we saw in Knives Out. Coupled with Rian Johnson’s signature riveting dialogue, Glass Onion is bound to be a twist-filled massacre regardless of the direction the filmmakers decide to go with Benoit Blanc’s story.

The only clue we can find about the film’s plot and inspiration comes from Beatles legend Sir Paul McCartney. In the band’s 1968 hit song “Glass Onion” (off the White Album), The Beatles purposefully filled the track with references to old songs, obscure imagery, and misdirection to poke fun at fans who looked too deeply for hidden meaning in their work.

It’s clear that Johnson is a big fan of music, as he constantly peppers his filmography with classic songs, proving that the medium plays a pivotal role in setting the tone and communicating important ideas in his work. If the new title is indeed referencing The Beatles’ trickery, then it would stand to reason that Glass Onion will be a subtle nod to Johnson’s love for music and red herrings — a tip of the cap to The Beatles and a trolling of his own fans in the process.

In essence, Glass Onion might be suggesting that we not read too far into what’s going on behind the scenes ⏤ at least not yet. As far as what the plot of the upcoming film will concretely entail, your guess is as good as ours, at least until the first trailer drops. At that point, we might be able to start putting more of the pieces together and solve this mystery once and for all.