Can John Krasinski Live Up to the Hype as Hollywood’s Next Star Director?

The actor-director has found his anticipated follow up to 'A Quiet Place,' as the film world wonders if he's the next big thing or just another flash in the pan.

John Krasinski Quiet Place Life on Mars
John Krasinski in ‘A Quiet Place.’ Paramount Pictures

Film Twitter loves a breakout candidate to root for and with good reason. The entertainment industry has always been fascinated by potential and hype, the superlative “What ifs?” for every singular talent that comes along. That holds especially true for on-the-precipice auteurs; we all want to see what they’ll do next. Remember, we all once anointed M. Night Shyamalan the next Steven Spielberg.

How innocent we were.

Similar to Shyamalan, the big name directors of tomorrow seem to be getting their starts in the horror and thriller genres. Jordan Peele‘s surprise hit Get Out made waves culturally and commercially en route to Oscars gold and hefty profits. Now, John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place is following a similar path after notching more than $50 million in its debut last week, the second-biggest opening of 2018 so far—not to mention, rave reviews.

Suddenly, everyone from studio heads to keyboard critics have taken notice. Is Krasinski the next hot young director or a one-hit wonder?

We’ll have more ammunition to answer that question once his next project, Life on Mars, hits theaters. THR reports that Krasinski has tapped the sci-fi drama as his follow up and will be reuniting with A Quiet Place producers Michael Bay, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller for the project. Paramount (PARA) Pictures, which is currently reaping the benefits of A Quiet Place, is in talks to distribute.

Per the outlet:

“The project will adapt a short story by Cecil Castellucci titled We Have Always Lived on Mars that centers on a woman who is among a handful of descendants of a Martian colony long-abandoned by Earth following a cataclysm. The woman one day finds she can breathe the air on Mars, upending her world and that of her fellow colonists.”

Krasinski is not attached to star at this time, and no writer has been brought on board as of yet, but Life on Mars sounds like the logical next genre outing step.

Krasinski’s first two directorial efforts—2009’s Brief Interviews With Hideous Men and 2016’s The Hollars–were met with mixed reviews. Each project dealt with grounded human stories.

Perhaps the 38-year-old alum of The Office and future Jack Ryan star has found that his most effective entry point into telling those human stories is by dressing them up in other-worldly genre trappings.

Alien beasts that hunt by sound, colonists on a far-off planet.

Maybe the grander scope and scale Krasinski aspires to leads to a more focused zeroing in on the characters that propel these stories. It wouldn’t be the first time a filmmaker went big to go small. That’s a win for the audience.

Or maybe A Quiet Place is an outlier in his burgeoning filmography.

Who can say?

All we know for sure is that we’re definitely paying attention now, and isn’t all that speculation and projection part of the fun?

Hype, meet John Krasinski. Let’s see how you two get along.

Can John Krasinski Live Up to the Hype as Hollywood’s Next Star Director?