Hollywood directors create films for an audience that laughs, cries, jumps and watches together, connected for two hours over a shared, theatrical experience. John Krasinski — director, writer, executive producer and actor of “A Quiet Place II” — values the theater as a part of the movie-watching experience.
The movie’s March 20 premiere has been postponed indefinitely in response to the COVID-19 outbreak to ensure moviegoers have the best possible viewing experience.
Krasinski said in a press interview via Skype on March 6 that this shared experience is especially notable for horror films like “A Quiet Place II,” where the characters must remain silent to stay alive.
“Without dialogue, you really start connecting with the person next to you and the person in front of you in this theater,” Krasinski said. “It becomes a communal experience and why people say ‘you have to see it in the theater.’”
In a March 13 Instagram post, Krasinski announced the postponement and noted his desire for this intimate, shared experience among fans.
“I’m gonna wait to release the film til we CAN all see it together!” Krasinski wrote. “So here’s to our group movie date!”
The second chapter to the original 2018 “A Quiet Place,” the movie continues to explore the silent challenges the Abbott family must face after leaving their destroyed home in a world gone mad with fear. On top of it all, the sound-triggered monsters have evolved, leaving the family in more danger than before.
Krasinski said the idea of a sequel was “terrifying” as and he did not believe a second movie could live up to the success and praise of the first.
The critically acclaimed “A Quiet Place” was a box office hit. It received a 95 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and was said to be “one of the year’s best-reviewed wide releases, as well as yet another example of our ongoing genre renaissance,” according to a review by Rotten Tomatoes.
Expectations for the sequel were high, and Krasinski said he knew this.
“The studio asked to do a sequel and I very quickly said no,” Krasinski said. “As an audience member, I am very wary of sequels. I think that they are usually seen as some sort of cash grab by the studio or something where the quality won’t be as high.”
Because of Krasinski’s skepticism, he said the sequel needed to be a continuation that held the same values as those of the first film.
“I organically wanted to take the audience to a place where they felt that they wanted to be and not somewhere that I led them to,” Krasinski said.
As he began to see the potential for a sequel, Krasinski wrote in a press release that he decided to see where he could take the Abbott family. The concept for “A Quiet Place II” grew from Krasinski’s idea to make daughter Regan Abbott, played by Millicent Simmons, the lead, he said in the interview.
“The idea there started branching into all the things I loved about the first movie,” Krasinski said. “I realized that I can make this a continuation and a further expansion of the metaphor that I was going for in the first one, which was parenthood.”
Krasinski works alongside his wife Emily Blunt, who starred in both movies. When asked about their working relationship as husband and wife, Krasinski said he was nervous to work together because they each have their own styles of working, but he said “it turned out to be the exact opposite.”
“She’s actually one of the smartest people that I’ve worked with creatively,” Krasinski said. “She has incredible ideas, she’s incredibly supportive, she’s all in on a project so she doesn’t just show up for her scene, she shows up for everybody.”
A scene in “A Quiet Place II” portrays Blunt’s character, Evelyn Abbott, driving in reverse as a bus comes full force toward her and her kids. This scene had to be taken in one shot and used a real bus and driver, Krasinski said, and needed to be executed perfectly in one take.
“That level of tension and stress is as much tension and stress as people [will] feel going into this movie,” Krasinski said. “I’ve never been more proud than when we completed that shot in the car to see hundreds of people run into the middle of the street and hug and jump for joy like we all won the lottery together.”
Krasinski was not always a fan of horror films, but said he now appreciates the genre because he realized it is more than just trying to scare the audience. It keeps them “at an arm’s length,” telling a larger story in a manner that is easier to digest, he said.
“[Horror] might be the best genre to tell stories because you’re able to bend reality in a way that allows people to examine the world in a way that’s not too in their face, too real,” Krasinski said. “Would I do it again? I hope so because it’s probably one of the most fun things I’ve ever done in my career.”