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To many fans, John Krasinski will always be Jim Halpert from The Office. But Krasinski went a long way toward kickstarting an entirely new phase of his career with A Quiet Place.

The film didn’t mark his directorial debut or even his first serious role. But its $340 million worldwide box office suddenly made Krasinski a filmmaker to watch, especially in the horror space.

To the surprise of many fans, the first film’s co-writer, director, and star is back in A Quiet Place Part II. Here’s how Krasinski returns for the sequel, which once again sees him starring opposite real-life wife Emily Blunt.

Emily Blunt and John Krasinski at the 'A Quiet Place Part II' premiere
Emily Blunt and John Krasinski at the ‘A Quiet Place Part II’ premiere | Mike Coppola/Getty Images

‘A Quiet Place’ was never supposed to start a new franchise

Whenever a horror movie hits it big, it’s become almost cliché for that success to inspire an endless parade of sequels. After all, Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, and Jason Voorhees have appeared in a total of 30 movies since the late 1970s. But A Quiet Place, as Krasinski admits, was never meant to lead to any sequels.

In fact, he and Blunt were initially dead-set against the idea of making a sequel in the first place. When inspiration struck, Krasinski decided to return as writer/director for A Quiet Place Part II. Yet, that didn’t automatically mean the actor would return on-screen as well. The way the first film ended set Blunt up to take the spotlight going forward.

Now that Krasinski has expanded his initial vision out to include at least one sequel, he’s even looking to what might come next. Since the second film hasn’t even been released yet, A Quiet Place Part III is far from a sure thing. But fans of the first film won’t have to wonder if Krasinski is game for a third go-round if commercial success strikes twice.

John Krasinski’s character does return for the sequel

Because of the sci-fi elements at play, A Quiet Place Part II probably could have found a way to rationalize a bunch of story directions. Nevertheless, the sequel doesn’t hunt for loopholes or retcon anything that happened at the end of the first film. Krasinski’s character, Lee Abbott — who sacrificed himself in A Quiet Place to save his children — is indeed dead.

In a recent guest spot on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Krasinski said his return wasn’t a matter of ego. Rather, his character’s reappearance has more to do with storytelling than anything else. Since A Quiet Place already begins in a post-apocalyptic world, fans get little sense of what life was like before. But the sequel uses flashbacks to explore that period.

In fact, a critical flashback sequence set just as all hell breaks loose not only gives Krasinski the chance to reprise his role. Its conception helped him win over Blunt, who takes center stage in that scene and throughout A Quiet Place Part II. Once she understood what Krasinski had in mind, the actress recognized the potential in continuing to follow the Abbott family.

‘A Quiet Place Part II’ finally hits theaters on Sept. 4, 2020

Of course, fans eagerly awaiting A Quiet Place Part II will have to wait a bit longer before its release. Paramount originally planned on sending the film out to theaters on March 20, 2020. But that changed just a week before its planned release date.

But the coronavirus pandemic led the studio to abandon those plans. For the time being, A Quiet Place Part II has shifted over to a Sept. 4, 2020 release. Provided it sticks to this date, Krasinski’s film will kick off the fall movie season, finally rewarding fans’ patience.