Glass Onion’s Rian Johnson explains why “the balcony scene” was the hardest to write

Image via Netflix

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is one of Netflix’s most successful films to date. But a successful show doesn’t come easy. The screenwriter, producer and director of the film, Ryan Johnsonshared the most difficult scene to write and looking back on the film he’s right.

In conversation with diversityJohnson described writing the balcony scene between Helen and Blanc as “a beast”. He claimed the scene had “so many moving parts” but getting it right is very important as it is “the fulcrum” of the film.

“The scene between Blanc and Helen on the balcony of Blanc’s New York apartment is the lynchpin of the film. It’s the scene where we reveal the structure of the whole film, show our hand and also introduce the main character, Helen.”

“It had so many moving parts. The scene must not only orient the audience by turning what they think they are seeing, but also introduce a new character and us as they have, side with them and then clearly define their mission that will be the second half of the film.”

To wrap up this scene, Helen goes to Blanc for help after learning that her sister Cassandra is dead. She claims Miles Bron or one of the “disruptors” was behind it after finding an email her sister had sent them. All of this is done through a static conversation on the balcony with a few flashbacks here and there. But the scene is mostly just Helen and Blanc talking. Johnson said that in this scene “the danger of slowing down is greatest” and he had to do several rewrites just to get it right.

“All of it [happens] in a long static conversation at a table right in the middle of the film, where the danger of slowing down is greatest. I rewrote that scene up to the last moment and then drastically re-edited it.”

glass onion is the continuation of knife out, with Daniel Craig reprising his role as Benoit Blanc. The film had a limited theatrical run and has grossed over US$13 million at the box office worldwide. The film is getting a part three, with Craig returning to film once again, and is slated for release sometime in 2024.

knife out And glass onion are both available to stream on Netflix now. Glass Onion’s Rian Johnson explains why “the balcony scene” was the hardest to write

Adam Bradshaw

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