There's a reason Emily Blunt went from A Quiet Place to playing Mary Poppins. She is practically perfect in every way. John Krasinski directed A Quiet Place, and had no plans to return for more. And yet, he's returning for a follow-up movie due in 2020. But it was his co-star/wife who best understood his thought process for A Quiet Place 2 as a sequel that's not quite a sequel. Here's Krasinski's explanation:
It was actually Emily, of course, who articulated it better than me. She said the same thing, it was like, 'No way, don't do a second one,' and then I pitched her my idea and she was like, 'So you're definitely doing that.' She said, 'But it's not a sequel. It's the second book in a series,' she said, 'It sounds [like] semantics but it's true, it really is---you're not doing anything that's like, alright I'm gonna take all the things you love and just kinda repeat them but in a different way.' It's not A Quieter Place, it's sort of an exploration of getting to live in the circumstances, and that's really fun.
"The second book in a series" is an elegant way to describe a continuation that is not quite a sequel. There are so many terms floating around these days -- sequel, spinoff, reboot, revival, continuation, anthology, Part 2, Chapter 3, etc. -- but a book analogy does seem to elevate the conversation.
John Krasinski told his non-sequel story on The Big Picture podcast (via Collider). He also shared more of his approach to the second film, further explaining how A Quiet Place 2 will not be a classic sequel:
Why I had this little idea that's now gotten bigger is most sequels are about a villain returning or a hero returning, and you have to build this entire world around just the idea that I have a hero or a villain. That's a lot, and I think that's where a lot of sequels go wrong because as much as you love that hero or villain, the entire thing is fabricated just to make that person work. [With A Quiet Place 2], we have the world. So it's actually the world that's built, it's the idea that the rest of the world is going through this exact same experience. Are there other people that have to survive like this? It's that idea of living through the set of circumstances, not again in the same way obviously, but exploring it more. You only got to do it intimately for a small amount of time, so what happens next?
It does sound like he's planning to return to the universe of A Quiet Place, if not the characters. Sounds like more of a spinoff, or an anthology, but it's all semantics.
John Krasinski added that he was not planning to get involved in the sequel himself, and he was ready to hand off the reins to new filmmakers. But The Force essentially compelled him to return:
So I had this little idea that I thought of and my producer, again, was very smart and said, 'Will you just write it down so I can give it to these filmmakers who are coming in to pitch?' and I said, 'Yeah'. And then after like three weeks he was like, 'Why don't you just write this and then we'll get another filmmaker?' and of course Jedi mind tricked me into signing on to the sequel.
Whatever works, man! He never says the words "Yes, I will direct the next movie," but it sounds that way. It probably didn't take too much arm-twisting either. Right after A Quiet Place came out, screenwriters Scott Beck and Bryan Woods said they already had some set pieces written for a sequel.
A few months ago, John Krasinski said he had been "tinkering with an idea for a few months and it just started to percolate," and the team was happy with it.
Now they not only have a plan for the non-sequel sequel, A Quiet Place 2 already has a release date of May 15, 2020.
A Quiet Place came out in April 2018 and made $340.6 million off a reported production budget of $17 million. It was a big surprise to everyone involved. John Krasinski knew, from a practical standpoint, that Paramount would want to capitalize on that. But he gave the studio execs credit that they didn't just want to go in and pump another one out to make more money; he said they want to maintain a certain level of quality for the audience.
We'll see how the big plan turns out when A Quiet Place 2 opens in theaters on May 15, 2020. Here's what is still ahead in theaters in 2018 -- including Emily Blunt's Mary Poppins Returns -- and what we can look forward to in 2019.