Rian Johnson Stays Sharp for Knives Out Image

Why do you think you’ve been able to survive with some of the changes in the market?
The easy answer is because I have a fantastic producer Ram Bergman, and he’s incredible. He’s really the reason that I’m still doing what I do. He’s a great creative producer, and he is just fantastic in navigating the business and all the seismic shifts in it.

I remember reading that murder mysteries, like the one you’ve just made, were considered not even worth the trouble because foreign markets don’t want to have all the dialogue to translate.
Yeah,  I mean, there’s always conventional wisdom that tells you different things, and I think you just have to do what you’re most interested in doing, do something that you care about and do something you believe in. I grew up reading Agatha Christie and watching these kinds of movies with my family, and I knew it was something that could just be a blast. That’s the main thing for me. It felt without like a really good time to make something that was just really fun.

“…he was kind of a jerk, also. And, he’s just a great actor with terrific a range.”

How can you not love watching Captain America Chris Evans get in touch with his inner a*****e?
I had seen him in the play, Lobby Hero—a Kenneth Lonergan play, where he played a jerk. So I knew he had the range, and in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, he was kind of a jerk, also. And, he’s just a great actor with terrific a range. I was really happy he had so much fun jumping into this and doing something maybe a little different than we’ve been seeing from him recently.

This has been kind of a specialty with yours because the way you and Mark Hamil depicted Luke Skywalker.  Instead of being this naive guy wanting to be a Jedi, he’s wary of it, and the movie is more about him getting in touch with what drove him to the Force in the first place.
It’s Luke 30 years on. With any genre, whether it’s Star Wars or a murder mystery, what I’m trying to do is kind of get to the heart of what I care about with that genre and what really connects with me about it, and then kind of find my own path toward that.

Whether it’s kind of the fun that I had grown up watching murder mysteries and the way that they can kind of talk about society in just a very sly and very entertaining way. Or whether it’s having grown up with Luke as my hero and now being 45 and being in a different place in life and kind of bring him along on the journey that a lot of us have gone through as we’ve grown up. You know those things are not that far apart to write.

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