Make some noise: 12 things you need to know about A Quiet Place: Day One

Shut up and listen: an alien invasion is about to go down in cinemas worldwide, and we don’t even have director John Krasinski as our handy farmhouse dad around to help solve things from a manageable distance of a few years. A Quiet Place: Day One takes place right as the horror franchise’s jumpy, sound-sensitive aliens first touch down on our planet, giving us a look at just how totally unprepared humanity might be for such a jumpscare-packed sci-fi threat.

Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming prequel, from the fabulous familiar faces in the cast to the cute cat that’s making us nervous in all the film’s exciting promo material. Scroll to learn more—but do it as quiet as you can.

1. The series setting gets switched from a quiet rural town to the Big Apple

Start spreading the news: A Quiet Place‘s sound-sensitive alien invaders don’t just obliterate small, leafy towns such as the one we’ve seen the Abbott family hide out in. This prequel goes as big as possible by choosing to depict the first blushes of intergalactic violence in one of the world’s most important and busy cities: New York, New York. Pedestrian is hyped for this change of location, pointing out the countless disaster movies and creature features that have taken advantage of the city’s iconic landmarks:, and the implications for the rest of the US if not the world: “if aliens, monsters or some freak weather accident torpedoes through, you know the entire country is in trouble.”

The film’s director Michael Sarnoski highlights that the new setting isn’t just about place, but people; a neat contrast to the contained and homey feel of the original films. “In the first two, family was really important,” Sarnoski explained to Empire; “and with that comes characters that have an established relationship. I wanted to explore what the end of the world looked like for people that didn’t have an established relationship, or a reason to care about each other.” Classic NYC: everyone’s too busy calling cabs and buying bagels to care about random strangers getting their skulls smacked off by alien invaders.

2. …but the movie was shot in London, weirdly enough??

The trailers for A Quiet Place: Day One give us a look at the typical New York City subway stops, skyscrapers, and bustling American-accented crowds. Thing is, the prequel was shot for some reason in London, England, with the American city’s famous details presumably constructed on a British set or SFX’d in.

The above post from executive producer and story writer Krasinski shows day one of Day One shooting taking place on what could be any city’s Chinatown or lane of Asian shops, with filming beginning on February 6 of 2023 and wrapping on April 11.

3. Star Lupita Nyong’o knows exactly what kind of project she wants to do next

Nyong’o was sensational in Jordan Peele’s second feature Us, and returns to the horror genre here—but she admitted to People recently that while scaring audiences is fun, the energy needed to pull off frights can be “physically and mentally exhausting.” Instead, the actor and activist has put out a request to Hollywood casting directors, being about as blunt with her request as can be: “Please tell everybody I’m looking for the rom-com. I am here. I’m taking calls. Listen, if I need to audition, I’ll do it. I’m dying to do a comedy.”

Nyong’o admits that her career was sparked by a particularly serious, awards-season-darling of a performance, but hopes that won’t stop her: “I do have more dramatic roles in the can than light ones, so someone’s just got to take a chance with me. So consider this my open application.” ATTN: Hollywood execs! This woman is dying to bump into an architect in a bookshop who’ll later run through an airport to stop her from leaving! Please make it happen!

4. Nyong’o hated cats until she bonded with her furry co-star: she adopted a cat after the shoot

There are shots of an adorable white-and-black cat in much of Day One‘s marketing—and the pet is absent in others. We are absolutely terrified for the fate of this cat, who might meow at the most inopportune of times and wind up flattened by a tetchy alien. But before appearing in the film, Nyong’o didn’t share the same sympathy. “I asked the director Michael Sarnoski if there was any way that we could change the animal,” Nyong’o told Glamour; “I suggested an armadillo; he was not having it.”

Not a fan of the beasts to begin with, Nyong’o’s outlook changed while shooting A Quiet Place: Day One, and a devastating breakup drove her to the other extreme, as she later adopted her new pet Yoyo to help heal her broken heart. “I was flirting with depression,” the actor revealed; “I wasn’t there yet, but I was flirting with it. And I had a voice say in my head, ‘get a cat’.” Wise advice. We’re glad it didn’t tell her to start setting fires or anything.

5. Stranger Things standout Joseph Quinn learnt a lot from his Oscar-winning co-star

Quinn burst into worldwide fame by playing metalhead Eddie Munson in the fourth season of Netflix’s Stranger Things, and his profile’s only gonna rise further with roles in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator 2 and this sci-fi prequel. Still a relative newcomer to Hollywood, Quinn told GQ that he got a great education from working with Nyong’o; “the way that she conducts herself, just as a human being, as well as the choices she makes as an actor really informed whatever the fuck I thought I was doing.” Despite rising to instant recognition for her role and subsequent Oscar win for 12 Years A Slave, Nyong’o is known for being highly private and selective with her film appearances, only gracing us with a big hit film every few years. This rubbed off on Quinn in all the right ways, with the younger actor describing Nyong’o as “discerning…I guess it was, at the risk of sounding a bit lofty, trying to give myself a little permission to be selective.”

6. The Bikeriders director Jeff Nichols was once in charge—but now it’s Pig director Michael Sarnoski

In November of 2020, acclaimed indie director Nichols was first announced as the director and screenwriter of Krasinski’s Quiet Place prequel; by October 2021, he’d dropped out of the project due to alleged creative differences. The search was on to find a suitable replacement, and the answer came in the form of another promising voice in low-budget American filmmaking. Michael Sarnoski’s only feature so far is the Nicolas Cage drama Pig, and that was enough to spark Krasinski’s interest, with Sarnoski revealing that the The Office star asked him: “Can you bring some of that Pig touch to the A Quiet Place universe?…What he wanted was to see someone else play in the sandbox that he had created. Finding those differences was exciting. It wasn’t something that we leaned away from.” One helping hand in pig-ifying an alien invasion prequel was Sarnoski’s Pig cinematographer, Pat Scola.

7. Co-star Alex Wolff describes the film as a drama rather than a horror movie

Alex Wolff knows horror pretty well; he accidentally decapitated his sister and incurred mum Toni Collette’s wrath for it in iconic scary film Hereditary, after all. Speaking from a red carpet, Wolff declared that Day One is “not a horror movie…not really. It’s more of a drama.” The actor has worked with director Sarnoski in Pig before, and highlighted that this new collaboration, too, only features “about four or five characters”, and that “while it’s big, it’s not on a massive scale.” These descriptions go against everything the film’s poster and trailer are trying to broadcast to us, so we’ll be curious to tune in and see whether Wolff’s characterisation is on point.

8. The only returning character (that we know of) is Djimon Hounsou’s survivor Henri

We didn’t know this guy’s name until he got given one in this prequel, but hey! At least there’s one character in Day One who we know will survive, since he appears in A Quiet Place: Day II as the leader of a colony of survivors on a secluded island. Just how Hounsou’s character travelled from NYC to wherever the desperate Abbott family winds up in the second film will be anyone’s guess, but hopefully he can bring Lupita (and her cat, god willing) along with him to the sequel’s sanctuary.

9. Relatively unknown composer Alexis Grapsas handles the delicate score

Legendary genre-film composer Marco Beltrami took care of the sounds of A Quiet Place and its sequel, but he’s not returning for this third entry to the franchise. Instead, the difficult job of scoring a film with silence as its inherent subject matter goes to Alexis Grapsas, who doesn’t even have his own Wikipedia page at this point. Director Michael Sarnoski seems keen on reuniting with the crew behind his successful indie Pig, and so Grapsas returns from that film to orchestrate this one’s eerie, tentative soundscape.

10. It’s the longest film in the franchise (but don’t worry, not by too much)

The first groundbreaking instalment of the Quiet Place saga ran for a tight 90 minutes, with Part II going just a tad longer at 96 minutes. You’ll be seated for an additional three minutes with this prequel film, it turns out, making A Quiet Place: Day One the longest movie in the franchise so far at 99 minutes. Reckon you can stay seated and keep your trap shut for a solid 100 minutes?

11. A Quiet Place: Part III is on its way in 2025—and Nyong’o thinks the series could continue forever

While original director Krasinski mostly took a backseat for Day One (whilst still developing the film’s story and working as executive producer, that is), he’ll be back in the saddle for the series’ third and final entry, which was announced way back in 2022. It’ll likely focus on the Abbott family’s continuing struggles to find safe haven—and perhaps to even wipe out their nasty alien invaders—and so Lupita Nyong’o’s new character is unlikely to appear. But the star sees a bright future for the franchise in prequel or sequel form, telling SFX magazine that “there are so many opportunities to follow different people on day one itself. We narrow in on these two characters, but there’s how many billion people in the world…? This franchise could go on forever!” May we face many more movie posters of characters clasping their hands over their mouths with terrified expressions. Some, perhaps, outside the US.

12. If there’s only one film you silence your phone for in the cinema, this is it

We all know that movie theatre etiquette is just getting worse and worse, with patrons allowing their phones to ping and bright screens to interrupt your perfect view of the screen. But if any movie is gonna be completely killed by some jerk’s noisy ringtone popping off in the middle of a tense action scene, it’s this one. They’re basically asking to get got by one of the film’s hearing-sensitive baddies.

Once you’re seated and ready for A Quiet Place: Day One, please quickly unwrap any noisy confection packaging you may have during the previews before the film. If you’ve got a bad cough, take care of it (and actually stay home TBH, we’re still living in an immunocompromised world). If you’re not sure your phone’s on Do Not Disturb, check it twice. Let’s keep cinemas a quiet place.