Whodunnits are experiencing a surge in popularity thanks to Kenneth Branagh’s Agatha Christie adaptations, and the success of Rian Johnson’s Knives Out in 2019. In both movies and TV, Christie and whodunnits in general, are ruling the waves in 2022.
On television, there have been murder mystery thrillers such as The Tourist, Reacher, Bad Sisters, Wedding Season, The Resort, Magpie Murders, and Miss Scarlet and the Duke. Sarah Phelps has written five brilliant Christie adaptations between 2015-2020 for television. This year we also had Christie’s Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? written and directed by Hugh Laurie.
Just this year alone, we’ve had films such as Branagh’s Agatha Christie adaptation Death on the Nile, as well as See How They Run (which features Christie as a character), Confess Fletch, The Outfit, and Bodies Bodies Bodies – the latter of which was a horror movie with all of the hallmarks of a whodunnit. And this was all before we’ve even got the Knives Out sequel Glass Onion landing on Netflix in December.
When asked by Variety about how many Knives Out movies he has in him, Rian Johnson said, “If each one of these can really be what Agatha Christie did, if it can be not just in a totally new location and a new cast, but also trying something exciting, I’ll keep doing it as long as Daniel [Craig] and I are having a good time. I’ll keep making these as long as they let me.”
Johnson is also getting in on the murder mystery television series game, with the upcoming Poker Face. Working with Emmy nominee Natasha Lyonne, he calls it an “old school, throwback to the case-of-the-week mystery shows like Magnum P.I. and Columbo. It’s 10 episodes, and each one is a completely different mystery, with different guest stars for each one. We got some incredible actors to come in and play killers and victims.”
While we wait for Glass Onion and Poker Face, check out our guide to the best detective movies.