A touch of mystery and danger will come to the 2022 Montclair Film Festival when the actor Daniel Craig sits down at NJPAC on Oct. 28 for a conversation with Stephen Colbert, host of “The Late Show,” festival organizers say.

The festival is paying tribute to Craig, who completed his tenure as the iconic James Bond last year in “No Time to Die” and who plays the lead in a new film, “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.” He reprises his role from the original “Knives Out” as detective Benoit Blanc, who is deemed the last of the gentleman sleuths.

A screening of “Glass Onion” will open the festival at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21 at the Wellmont Theater.

“We are thrilled to honor Daniel Craig at the Montclair Film Festival with our 2022 Tribute, and to share his work in Rian Johnson’s uproarious new thriller “Glass Onion” on opening night,” Tom Hall, co-head and artistic director of Montclair Film, said in a statement. 

“We look forward to welcoming Mr. Craig to the festival and to a fun, celebratory evening hosted by Stephen Colbert exploring Mr. Craig’s unforgettable roles and his exceptional career.”

Although Montclair Film has held fundraisers at NJPAC in previous years, this is the first time the fundraiser is being held during the festival. At previous fundraisers, Colbert has held conversations with Meryl Streep, Jimmy Fallon and John Oliver.

“Our 2022 Tribute to Daniel Craig marks a new step forward for the Montclair Film Festival, bringing the festival to NJPAC for the first time,” Beth Gottung, Montclair Film’s co-head and executive director, said in a statement. 

“We want to thank our partners and colleagues at NJPAC for providing us with the opportunity to host Daniel Craig and Stephen Colbert in their beautiful theater, our friends at Netflix for sharing “Glass Onion” as the opening night film of the 2022 Montclair Film Festival, and to Stephen and Evie Colbert, for their enduring and extraordinary support of our work at Montclair Film.” 

“Glass Onion” had its premiere last week at the Toronto International Film Festival and received positive reviews. The film revolves around a weekend at a private island in Greece owned by a tech billionaire, played by Edward Norton. He invites friends, played by Craig, Kate Hudson, Leslie Odom Jr., Janelle Monet, Dave Bautista and Kathryn Hahn, for a murder mystery party. Then something goes awry.

Variety said, “‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’ is a thriller bold enough to have a Beatles song in its title, even if the title doesn’t refer to the Beatles (though the song is featured over the closing credits).”

BBC.com said, “Craig’s performance is wily and joyful, and the film’s biggest flaw is that there is too little of him.”

The Hollywood Reporter found none of the problems that sometimes come with sequels. “This picture offers more action, more delicious comeuppances, more daring design and a few genuinely surprising cameos just for good measure,” the review said. 

“Yet it doesn’t suffer from the usual ‘Give ’em the same thing, but more of it’ bloat common in sequels to surprise hits. Its ensemble is more varied than Knives’, and its critique of the clueless rich more relevant to our age.”

The event at NJPAC will benefit the nonprofit organization Montclair Film, which hosts the film festival, owns and operates The Claridge theater, and provides year-round film education, storytelling and community programs throughout New Jersey that serve tens of thousands of patrons each year. 

Tickets for the Tribute to Daniel Craig hosted by Stephen Colbert go on sale today, Sept. 14, for members of Montclair Film. Members of American Express and donors to NJPAC will receive pre-sale access on Thursday, Sept. 15, beginning at 10 a.m. Sales to the public begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17. Public tickets will be available online at njpac.org and ticketmaster.com, by telephone at 888-GO-NJPAC (888-466-5722) and at the NJPAC box office at One Center Street in downtown Newark. More information about this event can be found at montclairfilm.org.

The full program for the film festival will be released on Sept. 30, with events taking place Oct. 21-30. 

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the date that “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” will be screened. It will be shown on opening night of the Montclair Film Festival, Oct. 21.


Carla Baranauckas is editor-in-chief of Montclair Local.