Forget the Muppets, give us a Poker Face, Knives Out crossover

Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc in Glass Onion and Natasha Lyonne in Poker Face
Daniel Craig in Glass Onion and Natasha Lyonne in Poker Face (Image credit: Netflix & Peacock)

After Glass Onion became a hit on Netflix, mimicking the success of Knives Out just a few years earlier, Rian Johnson clearly had a hit franchise on his hands, headlined by the eccentric and brilliant Benoit Blanc, played by Daniel Craig, as its recurring lead detective. So just like with many other franchises, fans have started dreaming up possible scenarios for what Benoit Blanc could do next, including what became a viral hit shortly after the movie's debut on Netflix — a murder mystery involving the Muppets.

The internet was quickly ablaze with the fun idea of Blanc working a case with the likes of Kermit, Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, Gonzo and more of the iconic cast; it certainly would be as star-studded as the Knives Out and Glass Onion casts were. Some have even taken the trouble of giving us an idea of what that would look like, including this trailer from Nerdist.

Of course, this is a fun joke, one that Johnson even acknowledged, saying in a Netflix Tudum blog, "... I thought was pretty brilliant, and I ended up really giving it some serious thought." But he put a damper on that by explaining the two just can't really play in the same sandbox and have it make sense.

However, if you're looking for Benoit Blanc to match wits with another sleuth, Johnson himself has delivered the perfect candidate with his new series Poker Face, Charlie Cale.

Played by Natasha Lyonne, Charlie Cale is a little rougher around the edges than Blanc. She swears like a sailor (her catchphrase is "bulls**t") while Blanc plays the Southern gentleman; Charlie sports trucker hats, ripped jeans and vintage tees, while Blanc is dressed to the nines; Charlie constantly stumbles into murder situations, while Blanc is sought out to solve cases that puzzle others. But they both are clearly brilliant at what they do.

Blanc has such a keen, observational mind and is pretty good at playing his suspects to reveal key bits of information to him. Charlie's ability to know whenever someone is lying sets off alarm bells, and while she often stumbles around a bit more as she puts the pieces together, she is dogged in sussing out the truth. 

But beyond their differences, Blanc and Charlie have a desire to see justice be done.

To Johnson's comment about characters being able to play by the same rules, the fact he created both series and they have similar tones makes that barrier a bit easier to hurdle. Even just the typical setup of the first two Knives Out movies, where Blanc has a female confidant he works with (Ana de Armas Marta and Janelle  Monáe's Helen), could continue to be followed with him and Charlie teaming up. And who's to say that a stop on Charlie's wanderings around the country couldn't bring her into a case that Blanc is investigating?

There are a couple of potential dilemmas. First, Natasha Lyonne has already been in a Knives Out movie. The actress had a cameo in an early scene in Glass Onion as herself, already a friend of Blanc's; he even calls her out by name. Wouldn't the world's greatest detective notice something is familiar about Charlie? 

Second, Blanc has already worked with someone who has a specific trait when it comes to lying. In Knives Out, Marta couldn't lie or else she would vomit, allowing Blanc to unravel some truths regarding the situation. 

Of course, if Johnson really wanted to he could easily work around these. And who really would be complaining about these two small discrepancies when Blanc and Charlie are being a mystery solving version of the Odd Couple?

But there's the rub isn’t it — if Johnson wants to. Johnson has never been one to just go by what people expect of him, even if it subverts what fans want or are expecting, as evidenced by The Last Jedi (just for transparency, I'm in the camp that Last Jedi is one of the best Star Wars movies). He's not one to give into fan pressure, which we really should be thankful for.

We know there are more Benoit Blanc movies coming and if the consumption of Poker Face is even close to being like the show's critical praise (a 98% "Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes), then Peacock is going to renew the show for more episodes should Johnson want it. Johnson almost assuredly has plans for what he wants to do moving forward with both franchises and though it may be futile, still, we can't help but put it out into the universe:

Give us Charlie Cale and Benoit Blanc working the same murder case, please.

Glass Onion is available to stream on Netflix. Poker Face is streaming on Peacock.

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.