John Krasinski on Why He Decided to Make 'A Quiet Place Part II'

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Emily Blunt and John Krasinski

The writer/director/actor was initially hesitant about making a second film, but he decided to pen and helm the project when he figured out how the story could continue.

If A Quiet Place was John Krasinski’s love letter to his children, A Quiet Place Part II is about how he hopes his children can fulfill the dreams he has for them. But he initially said he wasn’t going to make the movie.

"I needed to continue the themes that I started in the first one and I didn't know how to do that," Krasinski told The Hollywood Reporter. "The one idea I had was to make Millie [Millicent Simmonds] the lead of the movie, and in doing that, she gets to bring all these themes that my character had, Emily's character had, and these ideas of the hopes and dreams you have for your kids and how they fulfill them. So this is about growing up. This is about adolescence, and man, does she do a good job."

And somehow, Krasinski, who wrote and directed A Quiet Place Part II, thinks he’s topped the first one. "I said I would never do a second one. Nothing could be as personal or be as organic to me as the first one, and turns out, I think I like this one better," he said Sunday before the film’s premiere at Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York. The movie is set to open March 20 in theaters.

The film picks up with the Abbott family as Evelyn Abbott (played by Krasinski's wife, actress Emily Blunt) has been left alone with three children, including an infant, and must find a way to survive and search for help. Blunt loved returning to the role because she says the stakes are so much higher in this story.

"She's now a single mother and how on earth is she going to keep these three children alive, one of which is a newborn baby?" said the actress. "Where does she go? What does she do? So, I feel it's injected with even more harrowing set pieces and action sequences and who you meet along the way, how do you know you can trust them? She has the weight of the world on her shoulders."

"I love the character so much," Blunt added. "I admire her so much, love playing her. I love all that maternal ferocity she has."

The story centers on the Abbotts' daughter Regan (Simmonds) and her fight to help save her family. Simmonds found returning to the world and the story to be very emotional.

"It's not very often that you get to come back into a world that you built together and reunite with a cast and come back to a story," Simmonds, who is deaf, signed through an interpreter. "When we come together, it brings so many memories back from the first one and there's an instant connection. Emily is amazing. She has such a great sense of humor. And John is so creative with his vision. We already knew how to work together."

There are some new castmembers in the sequel, as well, including Cillian Murphy, who plays a fellow survivor in the world. Murphy was a huge fan of the first movie and actually wrote an email to Krasinski about how much he loved the pic, but he never sent it. Then, a year later, he received an email from Krasinski asking him to be in the second film.

"I especially loved working with Millie [Simmonds] — that was really, really special for me," Murphy said. "I think she's phenomenal. I think our scenes together were the most special for me."

The actor also enjoyed working within the constraints of very minimal speaking in the film. "The non-verbal performance is something that's exciting and I enjoy because I come from a theater background [and] having to act with your body as opposed to just the close-up," added Murphy.

While no one will confirm whether a third installment is on the way yet, Krasinski said that this film is his love letter to the fans: "The only reason why I would ever write this is I could figure out a way to make this movie worthy of all the love and respect the fans of the first one. This really is a thank-you note to them."