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Suspects Lineup! Everyone (So Far) Who Has Been Cast In The Next 'Knives Out' Movie!

Written by Alex Angelopoulos. Published: June 10 2024
(Photo: Lionsgate)


It’s hard to believe that, come November, it will have been 5 years since the release of Rian Johnson’s hit whodunnit, Knives Out. What started as a project he casually wrote in the summer of 2018 has now become a bonified franchise after Netflix backed up approximately 52 dump trucks of money onto Johnson’s doorstep. Now with both Knives Out and its followup Glass Onion having achieved critical acclaim, financial success, and two Oscar nominations each for Best Screenplay under their belt, people’s attentions have started to turn toward the next murder mystery with our favorite Southern detective (who also happens to be a gay icon!), Benoit Blanc.




About 2 weeks ago, the wait was finally over when Rian Johnson took to his social media to announce the title of his third Knives Out mystery: Wake Up Dead Man! Continuing the trend of pop song titles (in this case a reference to a 1997 song by U2), the reveal came packaged with a 2025 release date and, yes, the confirmation that Daniel Craig will once again be returning as Benoit Blanc. The announcement basically opened up the floodgates on this film, as A-List actors have been joining the ensemble left and right and everywhere in between.



You may not be a suspect of murder, but if you are a popular actor who has yet to appear in a Knives Out movie, then I can guarantee that you are being questioned as to whether you are going to be a new cast member in this already impressive ensemble. Seeing as how it can take a detective of Benny’s caliber to tie together all the threads, I figured it would be an honor to break down who is currently onboard the cast of Wake Up Dead Man. Let’s begin our case study with…


Suspect #1: Cailee Spaeny

One of the first actors who was brought onto the film, Cailee Spaeny is certainly on the up and up in Hollywood. With critically acclaimed indies like Priscilla and Civil War under her belt, alongside a starring role in the upcoming Alien: Romulus, it is safe to say that Spaeny is a textbook case for a young actor on her road to stardom. What is less of a safe assumption is whether she will be a witness, the murderer, or a victim? It is hard to say for sure, although I do doubt she is in the running for the killer. Still, she is a killer addition to this cast!


Suspect #2: Josh O’Connor

For anyone looking to see Challengers as a queer movie in all but name for Pride Month, you are bound to be impressed by the work of all three leads. The one we are interested in for this case is Josh O’Connor, who has been building up quite the resume of smaller films before gaining wider attention playing a young(er) Prince Charles in Netflix's "The Crown" before landing his leading role in the Luca Guadagnino tennis film. Similar to Spaeny, he absolutely has a long career ahead of him and joining the cast of Wake Up Dead Man is a smart choice on his part. What type of character will he play? I don’t know, he’s a good actor, I’m sure he’ll be alright — probably does his Uta Hagen questions before every production (that one's for all the acting students out there reading this... iykyk).


Suspect #3: Andrew Scott

Great Scott, it’s Andrew Scott! Scott sure has made a name for himself as of late. Most people will know him as the priest and love interest (that’s a weird combo) of the hit show "Fleabag", and just this past year, Scott was in the running for a potential Best Actor Oscar nomination for his acclaimed queer drama All of Us Strangers. So yeah, he won’t be a stranger coming into this project, but will he be the murderer? I mean, it’s a possibility, but like all things in a mystery, you can never say for certain until all the pieces are aligned.


Suspect #4: Kerry Washington

It must be nice on this Washington’s side if you were already a fan of hers leading up to her cast for this film. With an Emmy on her shelf and a starring role in the hit show "Scandal", Kerry Washington has a lot in her favor going into this project. And for any prcarious clue seekers, you may recall how the lead protagonists in Knives Out and Glass Onion were both women of color (played by Ana de Armas and Janelle Monáe, respectively). Given how she is, as of this writing, the only woman of color to join the cast, all the pieces are looking quite promising for a potential showcase of Washington’s abilities. As Blanc said in Knives Out, “The case is afoot, ay Watson?!”


Suspect #5: Glenn Close

Has anyone heard of this actress? I’m not sure if a lot of people know about this underground actress Glenn Close, but what I do know is that she has quite the repertoire to call her own. Alright, jokes aside, Glenn Close is a beloved actress in the industry whom the Academy loves to acknowledge and then go “eh, maybe next time”. Similar to Jamie Lee Curtis in the first Knives Out, 8-time Oscar nominee Close embodies a sense of legacy whenever she walks on-screen, so no matter who she plays, I think it will be nothing short of a killer role for her! Oh wait, if she does end up being the killer then, uh… too soon?!


Suspect #6: Daryl McCormack

Daryl McCormack is probably the least recognizable name on this list, though his IMDb page boasts a lot of great performances and movies to his name. You can’t deny the benefit of what joining a sequel in such an acclaimed franchise like this will no doubt do for his profile. Even for the smaller characters in the previous Knives Out mysteries, it cannot be understated how crucial it is to get great talent for that role, and I can tell that Daryl McCormack will be no exception. Who knows, maybe Daryl will be the one who says the next line that is worthy of a T-shirt — this franchise has quite a lot of those!


Suspect #7: Mila Kunis

Mila Kunis is absolutely another known talent who was like ,“Sure I’ll tag along” when Rian gave her the call. Although she surprisingly does not have an Oscar nomination to her name yet, nobody can deny her talent, whether it be in comedies like Black Swan or serious dramas like Ted (wait... strike that, reverse it). Either way, we can’t wait to see her again come 2025.


Suspect #8: Jeremy Renner

For any viewers with the eyesight of Hawkeye, you might recall already seeing Jeremy Renner’s face in this franchise in the form of his hot sauce bottle in Glass Onion. Now, I can neither confirm nor deny whether this was a funny throwaway gag or crucial plot device in that film, but I can certainly say that Jeremy Renner is just a great actor! Out of all the actors in that indie film Avengers: Endgame, his performance in that as Clint Barton may have been one of the most powerful, and that still doesn’t scratch the surface of what he can do as an actor. Be warned, though -- he may be a real-life hero following his accident last year (this will be his first film project since his injury), but there has been a running trend in the Knives Out movies to cast an MCU actor as the villain. Will Renner continue this pattern? Well, we still have two more Marvel actors left to interrogate...


Suspect #9: Josh Brolin

Some might say that it was inevitable to see Josh Brolin join an ensemble like this and, well, I can’t say I disagree with them. From Thanos to Dune, Josh Brolin has had quite a lot to be proud of over the past several years. It’s not everyday when you can take a breakout role from Goonies back in the '80s and continue that momentum all the way up to the 2020s. That is the definition of impressive. Of course, what is currently undefined is who Brolin might be playing in this movie. Yes, I believe there is a very strong possibility that he could be the villain once again for this whodunnit, although we shouldn’t underestimate the range of characters he can portray — Benoit Blanc wouldn’t, so neither would I!


Suspect #10: Thomas Haden Church

And last but certainly not least for the guaranteed castmates of Wake Up Dead Man, Thomas Haden Church. Even outside of his rough, course, and irritating turn as Flint Marko AKA Sandman in Spider-Man 3 and No Way Home, I have always admired Church’s presence whenever he shows up on-screen. His voice alone brings a lot of weight to any movie he is in, so I truly am excited to see what kind of character he could play in such a stacked ensemble. We have yet to bring up the titular Dead Man of Wake Up Dead Man, so maybe =Church could portray a character who has been long gone before the events of the film. My Spidey-Senses are telling me that this plot could involve something supernatural, so we’ll have to see… and check any graves to see if there’s a body missing.


As we mentioned up top, there are a handful of actors who have been on the bubble for joining this cast. Because they have not been confirmed by any major outlets, it is not a sure thing whether these actors will end up joining the ensemble, hence why we are leaving them separate. With that said, the people who have been heavily rumored to hop into the fray include Tom Hardy and Lindsay Lohan. You know, that iconic duo! Hardy is sure to be busy no matter what time of the year this production starts, whereas Lohan has been slowly making her return to acting after a brief cameo in the recent Mean Girls musical adaptation and her starring role in the Netflix rom-com Irish Wish. So, if these two actors pop up in the movie, I won’t be surprised, yet I also won’t be surprised if this ends up solely as some rumors to be left dead in the water.


This franchise has also been a hot spot for memorable cameos, so it’s a safe assumption that there are going to be plenty of those come this movie’s release in 2025. Who those might be is a difficult query, but there are two names that have both made appearances in every entry so far — those people being Noah Segan and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Whether it be appearances as significant as Trooper Wagner or as subtle as the voice of the Hourly Dong, Segan and Gordon-Levitt seem to be on Rian Johnson’s speed dial. Even if it’s only a brief cameo, these two are sure bets to be in the credits of this third Knives Out mystery.


Stay tuned for more!