Let’s just jump right in and call this part two of my interview with writer/director/actor John Krasinski about his third directorial effort, the well-crafted, suspenseful and emotionally engaging horror/thriller and post-apocalyptic drama “A Quiet Place.”
Up until this point in his career, Krasinski had only helmed smaller, character-driven indie films (“The Hollars,” “Brief Interviews with Hideous Men“), until mounting the more-ambitious and expansive “A Quiet Place” creature movie (which was a monster hit and made nearly $350 million worldwide). In this last half of my lengthy interview with the multi-hyphenate, we talked about Krasinki’s working relationship with Matt Damon—they co-wrote and co-starred in “Promised Land,” co-conceived the idea for Academy Award-winning “Manchester By The Sea” and executive produced the movie, and have written another as-of-yet-unproduced film called “The King Of Oil”— and the sequel for “A Quiet Place 2” which the writer/director jokes he was mind-tricked into writing.
Could he direct it? He hasn’t ruled it out, but he’s hinted at what might be an anthology and a very different ‘Quiet Place,’ sequel that sounds like it will focus on a new family and possibly even country still ravaged by the same sound-sensitive creatures that attracted to noise and movement.
You touched upon this earlier, working with Matt Damon and you guys have ended up working on a lot of things together, including coming up with the idea for a film that won the Oscar for Best Screenplay (“Manchester By The Sea”). Where did that relationship come from?
It was simple; he did a movie with my wife [“The Adjustment Bureau”]. I had never met him, but I’m from Boston like him, and I think everybody in Boston somewhere has the “Good Will Hunting” poster tattooed on their back, so I admired what he and Ben [Affleck] did with that story. It had such a major impact on me. To finally meet him was something that I was nervous about it. Then Emily worked with him, and we met there, and it was an amazing experience for me because we became friends very quickly. We had a lot in common, and I’d say a month or so after we became friends he said, “you write, right?” I said, “Yeah.” Matt said, “Do you have any screenplay ideas?”
The first two ideas and my first two scripts ever were “Manchester By The Sea” which I came up together with Matt and the second idea became “Promised Land.” We gave “Manchester By The Sea” to Kenneth Lonergan to develop and that, that all happened within just months of meeting each other, which was thrilling.
That’s awesome. I love that movie and even the core idea I was sold on when I read the one line synopsis before it premiered at Sundance. So, I gotta ask, what’s going on with “A Quiet Place 2”?
Well, I’m currently writing the script, and it was one of those things where I didn’t think I would write or participate in the sequel, to be honest. I was so proud of the first one, and obviously, we didn’t make it a with the intention that there would be a sequel. That said, I’m a realist, and I try to see things from everybody’s point of view, and I certainly understand why a studio would want to make a second one after the movie’s success. But I didn’t want any part of it because if it wasn’t going to be organic—a sort of next step for the world— I didn’t want to be a part of it. I said, “just go make another one [without me].”
So, while they were looking at filmmakers and writers, they called and asked if I had any ideas for guidance. I said, “well, I have this little small idea,” and then my producer said, “well, can you think about it for the next few weeks while we’re meeting people. Then those few weeks went by and he brilliantly Jedi mind tricked me into, like, “well, why don’t you just write it and then while you write it, and we’ll give it to a filmmaker.” So, here I am now writing it and we’ll see if I ended up directing it. But it’s an entertaining idea because I think for me, the cool part about this is, that it doesn’t feel like a sequel.
Emily [Blunt] articulated it the best when she said [the sequel is] the second book in the series. It’s just an expansion of a world, and I think that’s the beauty of it. Most sequels or about the return of a villain or a hero, and you have to build a totally new story around your favorite hero or favorite villain. [With this sequel], we actually have the world to deal with. The world is actually the star of the movie. So, these set of circumstance—how the rest of the world is dealing with this apocalyptic tragedy— is the fun of it then. That’s what drew me back.
That’s interesting. Well, maybe they won’t mind trick you into directing it because it sounds like you might be mind tricking yourself into directing right now. [laughs]
Well, I feel like that might be the next step, so I’m prepared for it, but thank you [laughs].
“A Quiet Place” in on DVD/Blu-Ray now and available on all VOD and streaming channels.