You know him best as Jim on The Office, but John Krasinski is stepping behind the camera for his latest directorial pursuit, A Quiet Place.
Starring Krasinski and his wife in real life, Emily Blunt, the film is based on a family forced to live in silence to hide from creatures that hunt sound. The movie is set to be released on April 6, 2018.
Here’s what you need to know about the film:
1. This Is His Third Directing Project
A Quiet Place marks Krasinski’s third time in the director’s chair. Vanity Fair notes, however, that it’s his “first home run.” Prior to this film, the former The Office star directed Brief Interviews with Hideous Man in 2009 and The Hollars/em>. He also directed three episodes of The Office between 2010 and 2012.
Asked how he got involved in directing, Krasinski said, “About four years later, the financier said, “I can’t get the movie made. Would you ever want to buy the script outright?” Now that’s a huge, bizarre commitment, and I remember saying to him, ‘You made the wrong call, I’m not George Clooney.’ Finally, we talked about it and worked out a deal, and I ended up buying the script with my own money—which is crazy—because I thought this movie had to be told. This had to be out there. I said to my wife, ‘I’ll only buy it if I’ll be making it really soon.’ And we were shooting within four months of me buying the script. It was awesome.”
2. His Wife, Emily Blunt, Plays His Wife in the Movie
Interestingly enough, Blunt never intended on being in the movie. In fact, she had recommended a number of different actresses for the part.
Blunt shares with IGN that she enjoyed the freedom of not having to speak. “I’ve always been someone who’s enjoyed scripts that are more sparce, because I think it’s more interesting. It makes people lean in a bit more.”
Asked if he was involved in casting this film, Krasinski said, “I was involved with the casting completely. I chose those people, I hand-picked those people. When I decided to direct rather than just star in it, I only said I would do it if I could find the right cast. I remember Martin Scorsese saying, “Ninety percent of your job is done if you find the right cast.” And so the first call I made was to Margo [Martindale].”
3. The Film Opened at the SXSW Film Festival
A Quiet Place opened at the SXSW film festival. In their review of the film, Variety writes, “‘A Quiet Place’ is a tautly original genre-bending exercise, technically sleek and accomplished, with some vivid, scary moments, though it’s a little too in love with the stoned logic of its own premise.”
The consensus among reviews seems to be that the lack of sound was efficient in hyping up the suspense. According to IGN, some screenings were so quiet “with the tension so high in some scenes that you could’ve heard a pin drop, as if everyone in the audience was collectively holding their breath.”
How did they go about dealing with the sound, or lack thereof, in the film? IGN writes, “In the end, a lot of the ambient noise — like footsteps on sand and the hum of nature — was recorded practically while filming, before being amplified in post-production, along with the horrifying sounds of the near-indestructible creatures that are now hunting humanity, which are blind but attracted by noise. This strategy helps turn the film’s few sounds into a weapon that can be used to shock the audience, sometimes when you least expect it.”
4. The Film Is All About Family
The film, at its core, is about a family that has no choice but to lean on one another to survive. Vanity Fair notes, “…the success of the film hinges almost entirely on the way in which real-life couple and parents Blunt and Krasinski pour their fears about raising children into their performances here. As is the case with most successful, spare horror films of late, A Quiet Place has much more to say about its humans than its monsters and is especially invested in the ways families fail to communicate even their most basic needs to each other.”
Krasinski and Blunt married in 2010 in Italy, and have two daughters together: Hazel, 8, and Violet, 2.
5. Krasinski’s Daughter in the Film Is Played by Millicent Simmonds Who Is Also Deaf
In the film, the family uses sign language to communicate (after all, it’s one of the only ways they can speak to one another without really making a sound.) Vanity Fair writes, “Simmonds leverages her real-life experience as a deaf teenager to deliver a deeply convincing portrait of a girl who feels shut out of her own family…”
Their teenage daughter in the film is played by Millicent Simmonds, who happens to be deaf in real life. The 14-year-old actress hails from Bountiful, Utah, and made her debut in Wonderstruck.
Millicent never dreamed of being an actress. She tells People, “I thought I was going to be a cop or a fireman, something that involved danger. But I was always comedic and would tell stories and use a lot of expressions. My high school drama teacher recognized that I had talent and asked permission from my mom so that I could join the drama club. I was in several school performances, mainly Shakespeare and comedic roles. I just accidentally became an actor. I totally didn’t expect this.”