Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery – Everything You Need To Know About The Greek Villa
- 28 Dec '22
- 10:00 am by Nuriyah Johar
How would you envision the vacation home of an eccentric, Muskian, tech billionaire? Glass Onion’s answer to the question is a sprawling modernist mansion sequestered in Southern Greece; complete with sculpture-dotted gardens, private pools, outlandish art, and a giant onion-like glass pavilion sticking out the top. Directed by Rian Johnson with production design by Rick Heinrichs, the Netflix film marks the second installment of the famous 2019 ‘whodunit’ film Knives Out. Daniel Craig reprises his role as the famous detective Benoit Blanc in a murder mystery that unfolds on a Greek island named Glass Onion – the lavish retreat of billionaire Miles Bron, played by Edward Norton. The majority of the movie has been filmed at Villa 20 at Amanzoe, a luxurious resort in Porto Heli that’s part of the popular Aman brand.
The production team came across the Amanzoe villa early on as something that would work as Miles’ mansion, but didn’t know whether or not they would get permission to shoot there. After several weeks of scouting, however, they went back to it – realizing it was the perfect location. Dotted with Unesco-protected ruins, the beach-fringed Peloponnese has been at the heart of Greek culture for millennia. Amanzoe rests on the east coast of the Peloponnese near Porto Heli as a modern-day Acropolis which offers sweeping views of the Aegean sea.
The Acropolis-inspired Villa 20 at Amanzoe was the primary filming location. It exemplifies indoor-outdoor living – complete with nine bedrooms, six private pools, a 650 square-meter spa, and a structure that cascades down a hillside in six tiers of sculpture-dotted fragrant gardens. Amanzoe has been designed by the late architect Edward Tuttle who played a fundamental role in conceptualizing the design of Aman properties all over the world, along with architect Marios Angelopoulos.
As would be expected, the villa’s original design doesn’t account for a giant glass onion. According to Heinrichs, however, Villa 20 looked like it could visually handle the addition of an orb atop the roof, and so, the exterior of the atrium was added in post-production through the use of visual effects. While the villa’s interiors were used to film the guest rooms, the primary living area of Miles’s house, where a lot of the action takes place, was built on a soundstage in Serbia.
The expansive, luxurious villa was the perfect backdrop for the production team to layer with an eclectic and seemingly haphazard assortment of all things rich. From B&B Italia chairs to Anthony James’ hypnotic Icosahedron (the faceted mirror and LED sculpture in the atrium), the Mona Lisa replica to the collection of glass curios, individually compelling pieces are rendered meaningless by the fact that they don’t unite under a larger sensibility. Much like their owner, they’re superficial; the only real characteristic on display is obscene wealth.
Fans of the movie can rent Villa 20 at Amanzoe (minus the outlandish trimmings) for EUR 40,000+ per night excluding taxes and fees.