Back in the DVD era, commentary tracks were an entertaining and informative supplement to movies. If you really loved a movie, the director’s commentary gave you a reason to buy a physical copy of it. Good commentary tracks gave viewers a deeper understanding of what went into the filmmaking process in a way no other form of analysis can replicate. Sadly, they went away in the streaming era, as DVD and Blu-ray sales declined.
But Rian Johnson is bringing it back, sort of. The “Knives Out” franchise creator loves to explain his work, so he’s done a commentary track for “Glass Onion,” the “Knives Out” sequel that’s streaming on Netflix. The commentary track is available on Spotify and viewers can sync the audio with the visuals to recreate the joy of watching a DVD extra.
“COMMENTARY TRACK APPROACHES!” Johnson announced on Twitter. “Sorry it took a minute but it’s a good one I think.”
Expect Johnson to use the commentary track to break down his Academy Award-nominated script, point out things you may have missed, and maybe tell the story of how that hilarious Ethan Hawke cameo came about. As Johnson said in an interview with Gold Derby, he wants the audience to have fun. “To me, a good mystery never hinges on the notion that the entertainment value is going to be in solving it,” he said. “It’s always entertaining in and of itself and it’s fun that it all comes together in a way you didn’t expect.”
If this commentary track is popular, it could serve a similar purpose for Netflix as it did for studios selling DVDs. It gives fans a reason to return to the movie, whether it’s by buying a DVD or spending more time on the streaming platform.
“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” is a comedic murder mystery film starring Daniel Craig as private investigator Benoit Blanc, “the world’s greatest detective,” and features an ensemble cast that includes Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Jessica Henwick, Madelyn Cline, Kate Hudson, and Dave Bautista. The characters gather at the Glass Onion, a tech billionaire’s futuristic home, to play a murder mystery game, which turns into a real murder mystery when one of them gets poisoned. For his efforts, Johnson received an Oscar nomination this year for Best Adapted Screenplay.
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