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He has done it. With the release of A Quiet Place Part II, a sequel to a hit thriller that subverts expectations by not sucking, John Krasinski has proven himself as a filmmaker with a kind of skill and versatility you only see once in a blue moon. He started off his career from behind the camera with indie dramedies Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (based on David Foster Wallace’s novel) in 2009 and 2016’s The Hollars before making an unexpected foray into horror movies with the first A Quiet Place in 2018.
Very rarely has a director made such a drastic jump in tone and succeeded at it so gloriously. I don’t know about you, but after seeing A Quiet Place 2 - streaming soon on Paramount+ - I am very curious and excited to see what other styles of storytelling the former star of the Office cast may tackle from the director’s chair moving forward. I would not assume that John Krasinski is actively seeking suggestions for what genre his next movie should be, but I do have a few in mind, starting with one he may have already proved to be a master of.
A Zombie Movie
Speaking as someone who actually did enjoy Zack Snyder’s recent return to the world of shuffling, flesh-eating corpses, the polarizing reception of Army of the Dead and more recent seasons of the long-running AMC series The Walking Dead has me convinced most audiences feel the zombie genre is… well, dead. The key to the reanimation of this beloved horror subgenre could be the magic touch of one John Krasinski.
What the director did to reinterpret the post-apocalypse genre with A Quiet Place (from a screenplay he co-wrote with Scott Beck and Bryan Woods) by focusing on its familial themes and how he expanded on that world in A Quiet Place Part II (which he wrote solo) is astonishing. To see that same inventive vision spliced with the more common version of the end-of-days thriller excites me in concept alone.
Another genre comes to mind that also takes place in a lawless, dog-eat-dog society and dominated the box office once upon a time. While modern-day stories about angry people in big hats, such as the hit TV show Yellowstone - streaming on Peacock now, have proved quite popular lately, the traditional, 19th-century set western could use a boost.
I reckon that the A Quiet Place movies actually make John Krasinski a great candidate to prove mainstream cinema is still big enough for old school style thrillers that made fellow actor-turned-filmmaker Clint Eastwood a star decades ago. In fact, the key could be dipping into same ideas that made the horror franchise work in the first place: focusing on a family forced to make difficult decisions to ensure their survival where a nefarious threat lurks near. Imagine if the Abbotts were the protagonists of 2015’s Bone Tomahawk to understand what I mean.
A Spy Thriller
Family has been a motivator for some of the more notable adventures of Jack Ryan - a CIA analyst who was first introduced in novels written by Tom Clancy. In 2018, John Krasinski became the fifth actor to play Jack Ryan when he was cast in the title role of Amazon Prime’s hit original series. We have yet to see this new and acclaimed interpretation of the character hit the big screen nor have we seen him become the family man whom Harrison Ford would portray when he debuted as the iconic spy thriller hero in Patriot Games from 1992.
I think it would be wise, somewhere down the line, for John Krasinski to kill two birds with one stone while also multi-tasking as as the star and the director. The most thrilling moments of A Quiet Place II, especially the breathtaking opening flashback, has me dying to see that same craftsmanship applied to an action sequence. Seeing him take on the challenge of performing those same sequences as Jack Ryan would be especially sweet.
A Superhero Movie
Family has also been an essential theme in many of the most beloved installments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is why it is so exciting to know that Marvel’s first superhero family, the Fantastic Four, is finally getting an MCU reboot soon. For most fans, the number one choice to play their flexible leader, Reed Richards, has been John Krasinski (along with his real-life spouse and collaborator Emily Blunt as Invisible Woman). Before Spider-Man: No Way Home director Jon Watts deservedly earned that gig, Krasinski would have also been my first choice to helm the project.
Well, while his casting as Mr. Fantastic is not necessarily out of the question, he would not be multi-tasking on the project as it seems. However, that does not mean there is no chance of him bringing his talents to the comic book movie genre one day. I think, if given the right material, John Krasinski could a wonderful addition to the DC movies or a whole new property of his own invention.
A Mockumentary Comedy
I would also be interested to see John Krasinski tackle a new property of his own invention that would also see him return to his roots. As fans of NBC’s American remake of The Office might know, he also directed three episodes from its later years, meaning he already has some experience working in a style that I would like to see more of on the big screen: the mockumentary.
While The Office would reignite the popularity of the faux documentary comedy on TV in more recent years, the same cannot be said for mainstream cinema (unless we count the prankster opuses of Borat creator Sacha Baron Cohen, that is). Yet, personally, I would much rather see this style re-emerge victoriously in a film in which everyone is in on the joke and the source is John Krasinski’s winning sense of humor.
You know, John Krasinski’s mockumentary would not necessarily need to be a comedy, though. I believe the found footage thriller genre could certainly use someone of his talents to give it a nice boost in creativity. Perhaps that could be an intriguing way to make the upcoming A Quiet Place spin-off, eh?