Knives Out 2 included a number of fun celebrity cameos and Easter eggs, including a particular flashback scene wherein a young Miles Bron (Edward Norton) can be seen dressed exactly like Frank T.J. Mackey from the Tom Cruise movie Magnolia.
In Magnolia, Frank is a sleazy, arrogant, so-called ‘motivational speaker’ and the creator of the ‘Seduce and Destroy’ system, which is designed for men to manipulate women into sleeping with them. With this in mind, the parallels between Frank and Miles are clear -but the idea of connecting the two characters actually came from Edward Norton, the Marvel movie actor who plays Miles in the detective movie.
This is according to director Rian Johnson, who explained in an interview with Insider that Norton figured basing his character’s flashback look on Sweet Magnolia made sense because the fraudulent Miles is so unoriginal, of course he’d base his look on a film he’d just seen.
“He and Jenny Eagan, our costume designer, came up with the look and I had no idea,” Johnson said. “I started cracking up. But then I thought, ‘Is this too much?’ I also thought, ‘What is Paul [Thomas Anderson, Sweet Magnolia director] going to think of this?’ Hopefully he takes it in the right spirit.”