While speaking about Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, director Rian Johnson discussed the film’s big twist and how he went about pulling it off.
Midway through Glass Onion, it’s revealed that Andi isn’t Andi at all, but rather her identical twin Helen pretending to be Andi. At the suggestion of Benoit Blanc, Helen goes undercover as Andi to prove that Miles Bron killed her twin. Johnson says that he “was dragged kicking and screaming” to the twins concept.
“I guess the primary thing was, it can’t just be seeing it from a different angle. It has to be enough of a basic perspective shift that there’s a new tension that’s introduced in the repeat of all the different scenes,” Johnson told The Wrap. “This is what led to the idea of twins. By the process, I was dragged kicking and screaming to identical twins. I didn’t want to do it, it seemed like a horrible trope, and just, ‘Will the audience ever forgive me for this?’ [laughs]. But I think we get away with it because it’s not like a reveal at the end of ‘Aha! It was a twin!’ It’s a complication in the middle that leads to a deepening of the stakes and the story. So I think that’s why we get away with it.”
Johnson also elaborated on ensuring that the lengthy flashback sequence that reveals the Andi/Helen twist was worth watching, even though audiences had seen the depicted events already.
“In that way, the bigger risk actually becomes going that first half of the movie without it. It’s like if we played the first movie for half of it without introducing Marta,” Johnson stated. “What was scarier to me is, is the audience gonna stick with this group of terrible people up to the point where we actually give you someone to care about when we introduce Helen? And then from that point on, it was kind of a trial and error calibration of how much do you repeat? How much will the audience stick with actually seeing stuff play out again? A lot of just pacing stuff, it’s just kind of the patient work that goes into any other movie, but the calculation is slightly different, because the fact that we’re going through the second time now also plays into the audience’s experience.”
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is once again written and directed by Rian Johnson, who produced the film along with Ram Bergman via their T-Street Productions banner. The sequel follows Daniel Craig’s Detective Benoit Blanc as he travels to Greece to peel back the layers of a mystery involving a new cast of colorful suspects.
Joining Craig are Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy), Edward Norton (Fight Club), Janelle Monáe (Hidden Figures), Kathryn Hahn (WandaVision), Leslie Odom Jr. (Hamilton), Kate Hudson (Almost Famous), Madelyn Cline (Outer Banks), Jessica Henwick (Love and Monsters), and Ethan Hawke (Sinister).