Rian Johnson Wrote Poker Face Episode 1 Before Glass Onion

Director Rian Johnson wrote episode one of his new murder mystery comedy/drama series, Poker Face, before Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.

Before Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery came Poker Face, as acclaimed murder mystery writer-director Rian Johnson came up with the script for episode one of his new comedy before starting work on the Netflix movie. Johnson became well-known in the genre thanks to the critically acclaimed 2019 star-studded whodunit Knives Out. Johnson would get nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, showing his outstanding writing skills. The director has continued in the murder mystery genre by developing Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, a planned Knives Out 3, and now, the new Peacock series Poker Face.


Johnson revealed on Twitter, after Poker Face‘s premiere, that he wrote episode one of the series before crafting Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.

According to the award-winning writer-director, Johnson wrote the script for Poker Face episode one, “Dead Man’s Hand,” in 2020 – three years before the show’s release and right before he went on to write Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. The Poker Face creator also noted that he wanted to set up both the main character Charlie (Natasha Lyonne) and the structure for future episodes to follow.

Related: Glass Onion’s Biggest Unanswered Questions & Headscratchers

How Does Poker Face Compare To The Knives Out Franchise

Side by side of a curious Blanc from Glass Onion and Charlie walking in Poker Face

Peacock’s Poker Face is a crime-of-the-week murder mystery series that puts Lyonne’s “detective” against a new case, with a whole different cast of suspects every week. Whereas Johnson’s Knives Out franchise is anchored by the world’s greatest detective, Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), Lyonne’s character is not an actual detective. Charlie Cale is a human lie-detector, with Johnson saying in interviews that her abilities are almost superhuman. The character starts the show as a casino worker who then goes on a cross-country road trip, where she is faced with several mysteries.

Johnson noted the difference between his Knives Out franchise and Poker Face in the past by claiming he wanted the new series to have each episode focused on little corners of the United States and looking into their humanistic aspects, even citing shows like Columbo or Quantum Leap. The choice to focus on specific pockets of the United States differ the series greatly from Johnson’s well-known movies, as the Knives Out franchise focuses on characters that are extremely wealthy and powerful, with Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery even taking place on a fancy private island in Greece.

Poker Face‘s connection to Columbo goes beyond its setting, with the show’s mystery format being the “howcatchem” — an inverted detective story where the crime is fully shown or described at the beginning before the rest of the story describes the detective’s process of solving the mystery. This choice further helps to separate Poker Face from the Knives Out franchise, as the popular series of movies adopt the whodunit formula that shows the full details of the perpetrator’s crime only during the story’s climax. While there are significant differences between the movies and the TV show, Glass Onion included a small Knives Out franchise and Poker Face crossover, which means maybe both projects do share the same DNA after all.

More: Won’t Rian Johnson’s Poker Face Just Be A Knives Out Copy?

Source: Rian Johnson/Twitter

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