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John Krasinski's If Introduces a World of Imaginary Friends

12/11/2023 • 4 min read

(Updated 04/24/2024)If | Cinemark

We always figured that Pixar would be the first company to make a proper live-action Pixar movie — they're well-equipped to do so, after all. But it might be Paramount and writer/director John Krasinski. The new movie IF, in which Krasinski co-stars in addition to writing and directing, looks very much like it jumps off from the idea of a live-action MONSTERS, INC.

The title, IF, refers not merely to a speculative conditional, but to Imaginary Friends, which are happy to be called Ifs. When a girl and her neighbor discover they can both see Ifs, the duo is launched into an adventure with the hopes of reconnecting grown-ups with the Ifs they created as kids.

Check out the final trailer for IF below and learn a lot more about John Krasinski's new movie.

What's the Release Date for John Krasinski's If?

Paramount Pictures will release IF on May 17, 2024.

Watch the Final Trailer for John Krasinski's If

While the first trailer did more work to introduce the main characters, this one spends a lot more time highlighting the strange situations of the movie and the various IFs which populate the film's world.

John Krasinski Wrote If to Break Away From Darker Movies

Between working on the "Jack Ryan" streaming series and the QUIET PLACE movies, John Krasinski spent years deep in some pretty bleak stories. So IF was kind of a break. "I figured I needed to make a movie for my kids," he told EW. "Seeing as though QUIET PLACE is like PG-40 in our house — they won't see QUIET PLACE till they're 40 — I figured I should make one for them."

The plan worked out! "It's the first time my kids have been a part of the process," Krasinski said. "So I got to talk to them very openly about, 'I'm doing this because I see you guys having tea parties with no one, and it seems like you're having a blast — who's at that tea party and where is my invite?' And they loved it. It was a really beautiful experience to get to do this alongside them. Both their imaginary friends are in the movie, which is really fun."

Who's in the Cast of If?

Ryan Reynolds and Cailey Fleming lead the cast of IF, with both actors playing people who can see Ifs — and specifically the old imaginary friends which have effectively been cast off by the children who created them. Fleming plays a girl named Bea, while Reynolds plays The Man Upstairs, which is a fun name for a character who is right in line with a guy like The Man in the Yellow Hat, from the Curious George books.

Human characters are a big deal in the movie, but the most important characters are the Ifs. Steve Carell voices Blue, a giant fluffy If who you might have noticed… is not Blue. (Blue was created by a color-blind child.) Other Ifs are voiced by Matt Damon, Jon Stewart, Emily Blunt, Maya Rudolph, Sam Rockwell, Sebastian Maniscalco, Christopher Meloni, Richard Jenkins, Awkwafina, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and the late Louis Gossett Jr..

The cast also features John Krasinski, Fiona Shaw, Alan Kim, and Liza Colón-Zayas.

It's Kind of a Reunion of The Office

With Krasinski and Carell working together again, IF might be the closest thing to a reunion of "The Office" that we see for a long time. Clearly they're playing different characters, but it's probably not too much to expect at least one joke that nods towards the shared past of the two actors, right?


John Krasinski's IF opens on May 17.


All images courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

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