The unexpected success of 2019’s “who done it” mystery, Knives Out, quickly earned director Rian Johnson the green light to create a sequel film. When it was announced that Daniel Craig, the eccentric private detective at the heart of the story would be the sole returning cast member for Knives Out 2, fans eagerly waited for news on which Hollywood elites would be joining the cast. But it would be an unannounced, secret casting that caught everyone’s attention this summer; as leaked pictures revealed that four-time Oscar nominee Ethan Hawke had joined the ensemble cast. Unfortunately for fans of the insouciant actor, Hawke’s role in the upcoming film isn’t what many think it is.
Speaking with Screen Rant, Ethan Hawke confirmed that his role in Knives Out 2 is strictly a cameo, specifically stating, “Knives Out 2, I just have a cameo in that movie. Don’t expect much from me.” And while we do now have confirmation that the role won’t be pivotal, Hawke remained secretive on the details of the character cameo he will portray. Early this past summer, Johnson confirmed that filming of the sequel began in Greece through his Twitter account. Soon after, the Training Day actor made media headlines when photographs from the set were leaked, and Hawke–who had not previously been listed as a cast member–was photographed on set. Chatting it up with fellow Marvel star, Dave Bautista, the pictures depicted Hawk as he appeared to hold a water gun that he squirted into the wrestler’s mouth.
It isn’t surprising that Ethan Hawke’s role in Knives out 2 will simply be a cameo. Considering the actor was busy at work filming the upcoming Marvel series, Moon Night, it was hard to imagine the 51-year-old possibly being able to work on both sets simultaneously. Similarly, Knives Out touted much of the colorful cast for the film heavily in advertising, but showcased celebrities like 13 Reasons Why’s Katherine Langford and It’s Jaeden Martell had very brief roles in the film.
Knives Out 2 was officially greenlit in 2020 when Netflix outbid several other studios to purchase the rights and create two sequels for $469 million. And given the initial film’s success that garnered the studio over $311.4 million against the film’s $40 million budget, the streaming company presumably made out big on this deal. The debut film centered on Benoit Blanc, an unconventional detective enlisted to help solve a murder mystery of a wealthy novelist, with all of his colorful family serving as suspects.
This time around, Daniel Craig will be joined by a new ensemble of star-studded celebrities including Dave Bautista, Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr, Kate Hudson, Madelyn Cline, Jessica Henwick, and Ethan Hawke. And while details surrounding the plot of the new mystery are still under wraps, the filming locations hint that Benoit Blanc will go abroad for the upcoming case. While it was surely a letdown to learn we won’t get to see the suave actor throughout Knives Out 2, one thing is certain: his cameo will surely be memorable.