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John Krasinski’s ‘IF’ brings imaginary world alive for daughters


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John Krasinski’s ‘IF’ brings imaginary world alive for daughters

FILE PHOTO: Emily Blunt and John Krasinski pose on the red carpet during the Oscars arrivals at the 96th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 10, 2024.

REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

(1st UPDATE) Actor Ryan Reynolds, a close friend of Krasinski's, was brought on board early in the film's development process

LONDON, United Kingdom – John Krasinski says he made his new film IF for his children.

The live-action and animated fantasy comedy is written, directed and produced by Krasinski, who also plays the main character’s father and voices “Marshmallow” in the movie.

IF tells the story of 12-year-old Bea (Cailey Fleming) who, during a difficult time in her life, discovers that she can see children’s forgotten imaginary friends, or IFs. Together with her new neighbor, Cal (Ryan Reynolds), she sets out to reunite the discarded IFs with their now grown-up inventors or find them new homes.

“It was a thousand percent for my kids. I’ve always wanted to make a movie for my kids and I had spent so many years watching them go into this magical world that parents aren’t invited into. And I just saw the joy that they had in that world,” said Krasinski, who has two daughters with his wife, actress Emily Blunt.

“And then COVID hit and they started to have their lights go out a little bit and they were doing fewer and fewer imaginary games. And I just thought this is the time to tell them that no matter what, that imaginary world that they created, you can always go back,” he said at the film’s London premiere on Tuesday, May 7.

The IFs come in many shapes and forms and are voiced by an all-star cast including Steve Carell, Bradley Cooper, George Clooney, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Blake Lively, Matt Damon and Blunt.

“I just called a bunch of friends who did me a huge solid one that I can never repay them for,” said Krasinski, known for directing the A Quiet Place horror thrillers, starring in the Jack Ryan television series and playing Jim Halpert in the US version of The Office.

“But I got to say, they all said that they did it for the right reason, which is that they loved the idea of the movie and they wanted to put something good out in the world.”

Actor Ryan Reynolds, a close friend of Krasinski’s, was brought on board early in the development process. Reynolds praised Krasinski’s ability to seamlessly transition from the intense thrills of A Quiet Place to the heartwarming and humorous world of IF, attributing this range to Krasinski’s experiences as a father and husband.

While A Quiet Place explored the lengths parents would go to protect their children, IF celebrates the power of imagination and aims to resonate with audiences of all ages, serving as a coming-of-age story for everyone.

IF starts its global cinematic rollout on May 8. It is set to premiere in the Philippines on May 15. – with reports from Patty Bufi and Reuters/Rappler.com

Patty Bufi is a Rappler intern.

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