John Krasinski's Jaws-inspired horror movie A Quiet Place made some serious noise when it premiered in theaters in the spring of 2018, grossing almost $350 worldwide and establishing the former star of The Office as an A-list director. But one movie Krasinski was sure he'd never make was A Quiet Place Part II. "I had no intention of doing a second one," he reveals to Yahoo Entertainment. "I though the first one was as personal a story story as I could ever tell, and because of that, I had no idea who I would even approach a second one." (Watch our video interview above.)
And yet, after a year-long delay brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, A Quiet Place Part II is opening in theaters on May 28, with Krasinski back at the helm and in front of the camera... for a few scenes at least. (Yahoo Entertainment spoke with Krasinski and the rest of the cast in March 2020, before the pandemic shut down theaters.) So why the change of heart? All credit goes to Millicent Simmonds, the young deaf actress who plays his onscreen daughter.
At the end of the first movie, Lee Abbott (Krasinski) sacrifices himself to save Regan (Simmonds) from the invading aliens who feed on sound — and humans. Picking up in the immediate aftermath of that loss, A Quiet Place Part II finds Regan leaving the family farm to explore the silent world beyond, with her mother, Evelyn (Emily Blunt, Krasinski's real-life wife), younger brother Marcus (Noah Jupe) and newborn sibling by her side. Along the way, they encounter the same deadly monsters, but also new allies and perils. And here's something else that's different: Regan is driving the narrative.
According to Krasinski, putting Simmonds front and center was the idea that convinced him and Blunt to revisit the Abbotts. "When John and I first started talking about it, that was always the aim," the actress says. "This really should become the kids' story, in particular Millicent's story. She's not only such a powerhouse of an actress, she can carry [a movie]. She's so arresting to watch, and we'd be continuing the idea of somebody with a disability who becomes this weapon for the world." Adds Krasinski: "She's the continuation of my story. Emily feels this one is even more personal tome than the first, which is insane."
Funnily enough, Simmonds says that Krasinski never told her that she was the reason A Quiet Place Part II exists. "I knew it was a love letter to his children," she remarks, through an interpreter. "It's really an honor to be a part of that." (Krasinski and Blunt have two daughters.)
The 18-year-old actress also considers it an honor to be one of the first deaf performers to anchor their own supernatural action movie. "I could never imagine this moment — if you had said to my younger self that this is going to be happening, I would have laughed at you," Simmonds marvels. And she hopes young people who watch the movie (with their parents, of course) take away a key lesson from her own experience. "From what I show in the movie, I hope they learn to be confident and believe — no matter what situation you're in — that you can make it through. And also to stay true to yourself."
A Quiet Place Part II opens May 28 in theaters.
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