Rian Johnson, Daniel Craig & Extended ‘Glass Onion’ Cast Talk Angela Lansbury & Moving Over To Netflix: “I’m Really Grateful That Netflix Has Stepped Up” — London Film Festival

The mammoth cast of Rian Johnson’s murder mystery sequel, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, sidestepped spoilers and jumped over plot lines as they presented their film Sunday morning at a London Film Festival press conference.

Opening the presser, Johnson addressed the one plotline that sneaked out following the film’s debut at the Toronto Film Festival last month: The posthumous performances of Angela Lansbury and Stephen Sondheim. 

“They were so kind and so generous. We thought, my God, would either of them ever do it? We didn’t think they would. And both of them were so cool,” Johnson said. 

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Johnson added that he traveled to Lansbury’s home to shoot her scenes for the film, and she didn’t understand much of the script but told him to coach her through. 

“For both of them, besides just the honor of having them in the movie, personally just being able to have 10 minutes with each of them to tell them what their work has meant to me was really special,” Johnson added. 

Johnson was joined at the presser by castmembers Edward Norton, Kate Hudson, Dave Bautista, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Madelyn Cline, Jessica Henwick, producer Ram Bergman, and Daniel Craig, who also paid tribute to Lansbury. He told press corps that Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Lansbury’s 1971 fantasy classic, was his favorite film. 

“The fact that she’s in our movie, we were so blessed, and what an incredible life she had,” he said. 

Glass Onion is the first Knives Out film from Johnson that Netflix will release after the streamer paid some $450 million in March 2021 for two-sequel rights to the original murder mystery franchise. It remains among the biggest streamer movie deals ever.

Johnson told journalists that moving across to the streaming world had no creative effect on the sequel, but he was “thrilled” that Netflix had closed a deal to distribute the film in cinemas prior to its streaming release. The film will screen at select Vue and Cineworld cinemas in the UK and around 600 cinemas — including AMC, Regal, and Cinemark locations — across the U.S. from November 23-29, the first time all three major US theater chains have agreed to screen a Netflix film.

“Personally, I’m thrilled that Netflix has made this deal for theatrical in November,” Johnson said.  “I love people watching at it home. Though if people want see it in the theater, I want them to have the opportunity to — and to see it with a crowd. 

He added: “I’m really grateful that Netflix has stepped up, and we’re doing a version of that.” 

Elsewhere during the presser, members of the cast spoke about their experience working with Johnson and among a large ensemble, with Janelle Monáe describing the director as a “true collaborator.”

Hudson, who plays the outlandish Birdie Jay in the film, praised Johnson for bringing “new life” to the murder mystery franchise and crafting such an expansive cast of actors. 

“The ability to cast such incredible actors in one film and actually have us all acting together… We got to experience great writing, great actors, and then at the helm of it is a new voice in the murder mysteries,” Hudson said.

Bautista, who stars as Duke Cody, Hudson’s partner in crime, highlighted the film’s thematic range, adding: “Any time you watch a film, walk away, and can have a conversation, is a good film.”

Glass Onion closes the London Film Festival this evening. The film will be released globally on Netflix on December 23. 

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