Rian Johnson Reveals Bill Hader’s Contribution

admin2021January 8, 2023

The director also shared concerns in writing Benoit Blanc.

Rian Johnson has been opening up on the process behind writing his latest murder-mystery film, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, as the film continues to wow audiences as it streams on Netflix.

A major element to the film is the dual role of Andi and Helen Brand (Janelle Monáe), something Johnson admitted to struggling with. The character of Andi was written as a smart, sharp businesswoman, who had cruelly been robbed of her share of billions by Edward Norton‘s Miles Bron, before being killed off by the mogul. In bringing in her twin, Johnson had to write a character that elicited different emotions, but didn’t realise he had failed to do so until being given some assistance from a surprising source – Bill Hader.

Speaking to Empire via their Spoiler Special podcast on the movie, Johnson went into more detail on Hader’s assistance and how it helped the shape of the movie:

Figuring out how to get that emotional investment from the audience with Helen was difficult. I thank him in the credits, but Bill Hader, who’s a really smart filmmaker, gave me a note on the script to say I’d written her closer to Andi in her character type. Andi was successful in her field, a big hitter like everyone else. Hader said she should be completely out of this world, she should be a school teacher or have kids, and be a fish out of water, and immediately I thought ‘that’s it’. So, having Helen show up and be a very different person and be someone that we as the audience worry about was the key, we wanted the audience to worry she might actually be killed.

Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc in Glass Onion
Image via Netflix

RELATED: Rian Johnson Talks ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,’ How He Came Up With the Plot, and ‘Knives Out 3’

Another element of the film that concerned Johnson was the character of Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig). Blanc was the center of Knives Out, armed with wit and a Southern drawl, and numerous one-liners. Johnson, aware of how well received the character was to begin with, didn’t want to play into that, instead opting to write the character from scratch and hoping he once again popped off the screen.

I’ve never written a character about whom the performance has already been created, apart from maybe Star Wars. I didn’t want to write a parody of what Daniel had already done, so I was able to write him straight rather than as a caricature of the previous film and I hope I continue to not follow the last movie, but just break out and always try to start from square one.

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is streaming on Netflix now. For more on the film, here’s our interview with Craig and Johnson:

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