A year later, Krasinski’s ‘Quiet Place’ ready to make noise

A year later, Krasinski’s ‘Quiet Place’ ready to make noise

NEW YORK (AP) — John Krasinski, whose “A Quiet Place Part II” is one of the biggest studio releases to open exclusively in theaters this year, recently returned to the movies, himself.

Krasinski screened the film for his in-laws in London, and the experience of being back in a theater was unexpectedly moving.

“It’s a sanctuary to begin with for me. It’s one of my favorite places. Emily and I go on movie dates pretty much every week,” Krasinski says, referring to Emily Blunt, his wife. “But going back this time had a lot more weight to it. Seeing my movie up there felt more emotional because of all we’ve been waiting for.”

The wait for “A Quiet Place Part II” has been as long as the pandemic. Last March, its release was imminent just as COVID-19 shut down U.S. theaters. A premiere was held in New York on March 8, 2020. Buzz was strong. Opening-weekend box office was expected to exceed $50 million.

But one delay followed another as Paramount Pictures and “A Quiet Place Part II” awaited the chance to return to the big screen. While many other films were sold off to streaming services (including Paramount’s own “Coming 2 America” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7”), holding out for theaters was essential for Krasinski. His movie is predicated not just on science-fiction spectacle but an immersive and chilling sound design.

“For me, it was non-negotiable. We designed this movie to be for theaters, specifically,” Krasinski said in a recent interview by Zoom from his home in Brooklyn during a break from shooting the Amazon series “Jack Ryan.” “I said I really wanted to wait for theaters and they supported it from the very beginning. Even more so, I give them so much credit for going with me on being this early.”

“A Quiet Place Part II,” which opens in theaters Friday, is an intensely realized nightmare that will try, with jolts and jump scares, to awaken moviegoing from its pandemic slumber. As the Memorial Day weekend kickoff to Hollywood’s delayed summer season, it will pose a much-watched stress test for the industry’s theatrical future. It’s a high-pressure position that Krasinski meets with a mixture of pride and anxiety.

“It’s definitely thrilling and nerve-wracking and all those things at the same time,” he says. “But that’s what our movie is.”

“A Quiet Place,” written and directed by Krasinski, followed the Abbott family (played by Krasinski, Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe and an infant) in an upstate New York dystopia where creatures with hypersensitive hearing stalk the land, ruthlessly hunting by sound. It was a hit, grossing $340 million globally on a $17 million budget. Pressure for a sequel, naturally, grew.

“I was like, no, just preserve it,” Blunt said in an interview last year. “Paramount said we’re going to make one, whether we were a part of it or not. I think that was what they wanted. But John just then came up with the most undeniable idea.”

Krasinski’s idea: Make Simmonds’ character the lead. In “Part II,” the surviving Abbotts are forced to leave their home and, on barefoot tiptoes, search beyond for any remaining humans, and maybe some sanctuary. The scope and scale of “A Quiet Place” enlarges, while the story remains focused on family.

“If the first one was a love letter to my kids, this one’s a letter to my kids about what I hope they are going forward in their lives, which is brave and courageous not only for their own happiness but also to make real change,” says Krasinski.

In the first “A Quiet Place,” Simmonds’ character, Regan, figures out a way to defeat the creatures by using her hearing aid to create feedback intolerable to their ears. In the second film, she grows even bolder with her unique power.

“I knew that she could carry the entire franchise,” says Krasinski. “She’s one of the most stunning actors I’ve ever worked with. She’s so incredibly talented but also so emotional intelligent.”

Before Krasinski had even shared his script with Blunt, he contacted Simmonds by Facetime to tell her she would be the sequel’s lead.

“She immediately covered her mouth and was shocked,” says Krasinski. “She turned to her mom and then this look came back that was as heroic as her character. She looked at the camera and said, ‘I’ll do it.’”

Simmonds, the 18-year-old who starred in Todd Haynes’ “Wonderstruck, ” was surprised by the opportunity but resolved to do her best in a role that simultaneously drew from her own strength and encouraged greater confidence in herself.

“As a person, I’m a little bit more shy. I might fade into the background a little more than Regan,” Simmonds says through an interpreter by Zoom. “But playing Regan really helped me because Regan was very confident in herself, and that really affected me. In the first film, she wasn’t as confident. She was highly self-critical and blamed herself for a lot of the things that happened to the family. That’s something that I experienced personally. I thought to myself: What if I wasn’t deaf? What if I was a quote-unquote ‘normal person?’

“But when Regan became this powerhouse in the second film, I realized that she was using what she had — all of her deficits, if you will — as strengths,” says Simmonds. That gave me a new perspective on myself. I was able to look at myself and say: I’m not broken. I’m unique. I have something to offer and I can take that and use it as an advantage.”

The two “A Quiet Place” films, where sign language is a life-saver, are part of a surge of recent films that authentically and dynamically represent characters with hearing impairment, including last year’s “Sound of Metal” and the upcoming “CODA.” Simmons, who during the pandemic helped create transparent face masks to aid in lip-reading, believes the movie industry is progressing in the right direction — and that people like herself shouldn’t be shocked at fronting a summer blockbuster.

“We need to start asking ourselves: Why not me?” says Simmonds.

After “A Quiet Place Part II,” Krasinski will pass writing and directing a third installment to Jeff Nichols (“Mud,” “Take Shelter”), who Krasinski says just turned in his script. More films beyond that, he grants, are also possible.

Like most upcoming films, “A Quiet Place Part II” will have a shorter, 45-day run in theaters before streaming, on Paramount+. But in the week before release, Krasinski is traveling nationwide to surprise moviegoers and rekindle some of the communal excitement of going to the movies. “Finally,” he told a crowd in Cleveland, “I’m all dressed up with somewhere to go.”

___

Associated Press Writer Alicia Rancilio contributed to this report.

___

Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP

Jake Coyle, The Associated Press

film

Just Posted

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives at the 2021 budget in Edmonton on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta launches COVID vaccine lottery with million-dollar prizes to encourage uptake

The premier says the lottery will offer three prizes worth $1 million a piece, as well as other prizes

Dharmesh Goradia, and his daughter Vidhi and wife Chaitali, at the 2017 festival for the Godess Durga, held at the Golden Circle. (Photo contributed)
Draft curriculum misses the mark for central Alberta Hindu society

Meeting scheduled with Alberta Education officials

Air Canada planes sit on the tarmac at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. Air Canada says it will recall more than 2,600 employees who were furloughed during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Alberta’s tourism sector hurt by COVID-19 pandemic: ATB Financial

Between border closures, public health measures and hesitancy to travel, Alberta’s tourism… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

A man wears a face mask as he walks by a sign for a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, May 16, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Canada paid a premium to get doses from Pfizer earlier than planned

OTTAWA — Canada paid a premium to get more than 250,000 doses… Continue reading

The Kamloops Indian Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., is shown in this 1930 handout photo. HO — Deschatelets-NDC Archives
Calls grow for Ottawa to review settlement decisions for residential school survivors

Lawyer Teri Lynn Bougie still cries when she talks about the final… Continue reading

Syringes are readied at a COVID-19 mobile vaccination clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, Friday, April 30, 2021 in Montreal. Most of the federal contracts for COVID-19 vaccines allow for Canada to donate some of its doses to other countries or international aid organizations and in at least three cases, for the doses to be resold.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada’s vaccine contracts allow for doses to be donated, in some cases resold

OTTAWA — Most of the federal contracts for COVID-19 vaccines allow for… Continue reading

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, responds to the report on the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, in Vancouver, on Monday June 3, 2019. As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk'emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Two sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

VANCOUVER — As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after… Continue reading

A woman sits and weeps at the scene of Sunday's hate-motivated vehicle attack in London, Ont. on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. Four members of a family in London, Ont., are set to be buried today. The public has been invited to help celebrate the lives of Talat Afzaal, 74, her son Salman Afzaal, 46, his wife Madiha Salman, 44, and their 15-year-old daughter Yumna Salman.THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Geoff Robins
Funeral to be held today for London family killed in attack

LONDON, Ont. — Four members of a Muslim family killed in what… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden listen to United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson deliver opening remarks at a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, United Kingdom Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau to discuss foreign policy with G7 leaders at second day of summit meeting

CARBIS BAY, CORNWALL, ENGLAND — Foreign policy is on the agenda for… Continue reading

Most Read