Rian Johnson has certainly left an impression on the whodunit genre with his Knives Out franchise. While the 2019 feature got commercial and critical acclaim, the sequel Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery has had a good festival and theater run and will soon make a streaming debut to the global audience before Johnson moves to finish the trilogy. Meanwhile, the filmmaker is bringing another whodunnit with Poker Face, a case-of-the-week detective drama starring Natasha Lyonne. While the feature made all the noise for its illustrious cast list, Empire recently revealed the first look at the new series.
In the upcoming series, Lyonne plays Charlie, a sleuth with an uncanny ability to detect when someone is lying to her. The new image sees her involuntarily crowd-surfing! Given her facial expression, her eyes are still following someone while she’s picked up by the crowd. In an accompanying interview, Lyonne revealed that she’s drawn to the idea of “accidental detective,” explaining, “You know, the person who stumbles into a life of solving things just because their brain works that way.”
However, Johnson has a penchant to write characters with such peculiarities. In Knives Out, Ana de Armas’ Marta too had a physical reaction to lying, almost a condition for her survival. Still, having a protagonist in a whodunit, who can sniff out the truth, doesn’t exactly make an exciting story. Johnson admitted, “It presented an interesting obstruction in the writing process: how is it not over in the first five minutes of talking to the person?” But then in his stories, we can’t go by exactly what someone says, he explains that in the pilot, Charlie gives this monologue about “how people are constantly lying. You have to pay attention to why the person is lying about that specific thing.”
The ten-part series is written and directed by Johnson himself except for one episode that is helmed by Lyonne. The feature boasts an impressive rotating star cast that includes Megan Suri, Colton Ryan, Brandon Michael Hall, Adrien Brody, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ron Perlman, Stephanie Hsu, Nick Nolte, Tim Blake Nelson, Benjamin Bratt, Hong Chau, Lil Rel Howery, Jameela Jamil, Chloë Sevigny, David Castañeda, and Danielle Macdonald. Further rounding off the cast are Dascha Polanco, Nicholas Cirillo, Audrey Corsa, Niall Cunningham, Simon Helberg, S. Epatha Merkerson, Charles Melton, Reed Birney, Hong Chau, Kerry Frances, Rhea Perlman, Rowan Blanchard, Luis Guzmán, Clea DuVall, Shane Paul McGhie, Angel Desai, Jasmine Aiyana Garvin, and Leslie Shiva.
Poker Face debuts on Peacock next year on January 23, 2023.