Even before the delayed A Quiet Place Part II hits theaters, Paramount is already underway on building out what is potentially a full A Quiet Place cinematic universe.

Courtesy of Deadline comes the news that Paramount has tapped Jeff Nichols to write and direct a third Quiet Place film based on an original idea by John Krasinski. Krasinski, as fans know, is the co-writer, director, and co-star of the first film, as well as the sequel, on which he was the sole writer. The third film is set for a 2022 release, though the exact date hasn’t yet been determined.

The plot details aren’t known at this time, so the movie could be a straight sequel. However, with Krasinski writing and directing the first two movies, handing over the reins completely to a new director indicates that it might very well be a movie set in the universe but that doesn’t necessarily revolve around the Abbott family. Granted, with AQPII being pushed back from March 20 of this year to April 23 of next, we don’t yet know how the story will unfold. But we’ve already seen it’s introducing new characters, most notably in the form of Cillian Murphy’s Emmett, whose status as a friend or foe isn’t yet clear.

Even if we see the Abbotts’ world expand in the sequel, there’s still so much about the world we don’t yet know or understand. The first movie made the rare and smart narrative decision of skipping past the alien invasion entirely, starting the story after the apocalypse had already happened. It never really explained, and didn’t need to, how the monsters got there, why their hearing is so advanced, or whether or not the humans tried to fight them. There’s quite literally an entire world to explore that has thus far gone untouched. It wouldn’t be out of the question if the script Nichols is working on is a prequel that explains how the world got this way or a separate story entirely.

In any case, the inclusion of Nichols indicates it will still be an intimate, character-driven story in many ways. He’s an intriguing and fitting choice, his movies gripping and experiential, often moving in ways we don’t expect. Take Shelter, in particular, about a father who will do anything to protect his family in a post-apocalyptic world, is perhaps the best indicator of the themes and sensibilities that will drive Nichols in the third Quiet Place movie. Nichols is a rare sort of filmmaker, a true auteur who only churns out a movie every three to four years – his most recent two films, Loving and Midnight Special, were all the way back in 2016. But every single one of his films has been critically acclaimed, if not widely seen. Hopefully, him working on the A Quiet Place franchise will give him the wider recognition he’s never particularly seemed to chase but nevertheless deserves.

Meanwhile, A Quiet Place Part II hits theaters on April 23, 2021.

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