Rian Johnson has indicated he will gladly spend the rest of his life writing and directing Knives Out whodunnits for Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig). Consequently, the audience may get to know Blanc quite well over the years—with Glass Onion, we’ve already learned some juicy details about his home life. But Johnson is adamant about maintaining some of the detective’s mystery, which means he won’t be making any prequels or origin stories.
In a new Uproxx interview, Johnson reluctantly admits that Blanc’s accent is “based mostly on Shelby Foote,” adding, “I can assume he’s from Mississippi.” He doesn’t have a detailed backstory sketched out for his leading man, though. “I think little tiny glimpses into that is fun for me. And it’s a trap that I find myself as a writer having to really push back against, just for myself,” Johnson explains. “Having Daniel Craig in that part, the temptation is to think that Blanc as a character is what’s interesting about these movies.”
Contrary to the tantalizing details he’s given us about Blanc as a person, the filmmaker maintains the crime solver is only “interesting in his function within the mystery.” He elaborates, “The mystery’s the thing. And [how] the detective is interesting is the way he solves his function within solving the mystery. And if we get glimpses beyond that, that’s great. But I feel like a little of that goes a very long way for me.”
He’s open to showing more of Blanc’s partner, provided that buzzy big-name actor wants to return, and showing more of Blanc’s life “if it makes sense.” However, he warns, “To me, I feel like I have to, with each one of these movies, just really focus my attention on the suspects, and the mystery, and the murder. And making sure that’s what drives the audience’s interest and not taking my eye off the ball. And that honestly takes all my energy and all my attention making that work.”
Blanc’s backstory, to Johnson, would be a distraction from the mystery. And a prequel about a young Benoit learning his craft just wouldn’t be worth it: “Sorry,” Johnson says. “Maybe, someday after I’m dead and gone, it’ll be streaming on a mind chip.”