The Next Knives Out Movie Is A Muppets Mystery?

Knives Out director Rian Johnson has considered writing a crossover with the Muppets but thinks the two worlds are too unalike to merge.

By Nathan Kamal | Updated

knives out muppets

Knives Out director Rian Johnson revealed that he gave genuine consideration to a Benoit Blanc/Muppets crossover film, but decided the two elements operated on too different of wavelengths to work together. According to Netflix Tudum, Johnson had noticed that the idea of Daniel Craig’s detective combined with Jim Henson’s legendary troupe of characters was trending on social media. But as much as he liked the idea of it, he felt the “two things have very different rules.”

Rian Johnson did say that the potential Knives Out/Muppets crossover held a lot of appeal for him as a fan of the latter, remarking that “As much as I take the murder mystery genre seriously, I take the genre of a Muppet movie seriously.” Johnson is known for working within highly specific genre constraints to subvert them (much as the Knives Out movies twist the tropes of murder mysteries), which is actually pretty similar to how the Muppets satirize show business. As such, it seems like Rian Johnson could actually work within the world of felt puppetry pretty easily.

Interestingly, Rian Johnson has already worked with one of the most famous people associated with the Muppets twice before: Frank Oz. The actor/director/puppeteer is best known as the man behind both Yoda and Miss Piggie, as well as directing movies as divergent as the high fantasy The Dark Crystal, the musical murder extravaganza Little Shop of Horrors, and the Bill Murray cringe comedy What About Bob? Rian Johnson directed him as Yoda in his controversial Star Wars film The Last Jedi and then once again in the first Knives Out movie (as a human actor, not a Muppet).

the muppets mayhem

It is pretty fascinating to think of how the world of Knives Out and the Muppets might intersect, even if Rian Johnson does not currently think he can make it work. Both Knives Out and Glass Onion primarily skewered the moneyed classes and ideas of privilege and responsibility by presenting characters as broad tropes, which is not dissimilar to how the Muppets tend to mock authority by Gonzo’s chickens fluttering everywhere. And while it is pretty rare for a Muppet movie to involve a violent murder, there is always a first for everything. 

While Rian Johnson largely shot down the idea that he would combine Knives Out and the Muppets, it is telling that he refused to give any clue as to how a hypothetical murder mystery with Kermit and the gang might go down, saying “What if I do it someday?” It is good that he is still keeping the concept in his back pocket, just in case we ever need a scene in which Sam the Eagle reacts in disgust to Benoit Blanc’s extremely thick accent. 

While there is no indication of what the next Knives Out film (even if Rian Johnson doesn’t like calling them that) will involve, it seems it will not be Muppets. Still, we can always dream of Daniel Craig and Kermit singing a duet together someday.