Rian Johnson Knows Glass Onion’s Tech Bro Looks Very Familiar

wired.com .- The opening gambit of writer-director Rian Johnson’s Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, his second in his series of Agatha Christie–style whodunits, is one of mischief. Tech billionaire Miles (Edward Norton) has sent each member of his gang of longtime friends a wooden puzzle box that, when unlocked, calls them all to his Greek island to “solve the mystery of my murder.” It’s a game, of course, but not everyone wants to play.  

Obviously, this is where the twists start. When the group arrives in Greece, they find that detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) has been invited to their annual friend gathering, too. Soon, old grievances come to light, and Miles’ former business partner Andi (Janelle Monáe), politician Claire (Kathryn Hahn), fashion designer Birdie (Kate Hudson), Birdie’s assistant Peg (Jessica Henwick), men’s-rights influencer Duke (Dave Bautista), Duke’s girlfriend Whiskey (Madelyn Cline), and scientist Lionel (Leslie Odom Jr.), all find themselves questioning one anothers’ motives. And that’s before one of them turns up dead.

No spoilers here, but one thing that does come out during Blanc’s investigation is that Miles is every bit the tech billionaire archetype: He buys fancy toys and homes, walks with overconfident swagger, and believes so much in his big ideas he’s unwilling to acknowledge when they’re bad—or dangerous. 

Johnson wrote the screenplay during the height of Covid-19 lockdowns, long before Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, but acknowledges that his movie, which lands on Netflix today, ended up being surprisingly au courant. “A friend of mine said, ‘Man, that feels like it was written this afternoon,’” Johnson notes.

But Glass Onion is a lot more than that—it’s also a really fun time. WIRED hopped on Zoom with Johnson to talk about his new film, scripts written by AI, and what’s happening with his Star Wars movies. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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