[DISCLAIMER: This Rian Johnson Story is NOT an April Fool’s Joke. See the link to Deadline’s original story, below.] Oh, how the times are a changin’ in the movie world. Once upon a time, there was a definitive and uncrossable line between the movie industry/stars and television industry/stars. If television stars graduated to movies (which was rare) they never came back. Movie stars would not do television until they were washed out on the big screen. Even then they held a sense of pride and refused small screen work. With the surge in streaming power and Covid-19 crippling the movie industry, that barrier no longer exists as evident by today’s news. Is Rian Johnson coming to Netflix with his big screen, award winning franchise?

Rian Johnson made some small hit films that received praise more than box office receipts, but he shot to notoriety when he directed Star Wars: The Last Jedi. His take on Star Wars split the fan base even though it garnered largely positive reviews from non-fans and critics. Many tried to say he was a terrible director; However, he quickly proved his capabilities with the multiple award winning smash, Knives Out.

While everyone says his self established Star Wars movies will be coming eventually, right now he has the freedom to make whatever he wants. He stated many times he wants to make Knives Out a franchise that will not rely on anyone one actor, but instead be a running, who-done-it themed franchise. Everyone naturally assumed these future movies would be on the big screen, but Deadline is reporting Netflix is very close to signing a deal with not only Johnson but Daniel Craig for two straight-to-streaming sequels.

Johnson Coming to Netflix – Netflix Solves the Riddle

Netflix reportedly outbid both Apple TV and Amazon for the rights to the two new films. The deal costs Netflix a reported $400 million to close, but seeing as the original Knives Out theatrical version cost $40 million and brought in $311 million in receipts along with tons of award nominations and wins, it sounds like a great deal.

Johnson talked about not needing Daniel Craig to move forward, but having Craig on board definitely helps sell the franchise. Craig brought to life Benoit Blanc and his deeply southern accent and mannerisms, or as Ransom Drysome (Chris Evans) called him – CSI/KFC with a Kentucky fried, Foghorn Leghorn drawl.

The key to future movies will be if Johnson can assemble the same eclectic type cast and play them all to their strengths as he did in the first one. Anyone that can convincingly take Captain America from “Language!” to “Eat shit” knows how to create characters. Johnson more than proved his story telling abilities and criminal manipulations.

What could this mean for Johnson’s Star Wars movies? Who knows. Given the slate announced at Disney’s Investor Day last year, we know it won’t see production within the next few years. Perhaps Lucasfilm wishes to get their legs back under them, let The Last Jedi melodrama cool down, and then come back to Rian’s ideas.