Ryan Reynolds next to a purple imaginary friend voiced by Steve Carell in IF

Randall Park and Ryan Reynolds Pay Homage to ‘The Office’ in New ‘IF’ Teaser

John Krasinski and Ryan Reynolds are collaborating on a wildly imaginative new film called IF. Coming to theaters soon, the film sees Reynolds in a world where imaginary friends (IFs) are real.

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The film is Krasinski’s latest directing project after he found success behind the camera with A Quiet Place and A Quiet Place II. It’s also the first major collaboration between Krasinski and Reynolds. Aside from Krasinski’s brief cameo in Reynolds’ Free Guy, the two have never worked together extensively before, although they are known to be friends. Coincidentally, IF won’t be the only major film focused on imaginary friends releasing in 2024.

The Blumhouse-produced Imaginary, coming early next year, features a disgruntled imaginary friend seeking revenge on the woman who abandoned him. Fortunately, IF is shaping up to be wildly different from Imaginary. Instead of a horror film, IF is much more reminiscent of Detective Pikachu, with funny CGI characters and a wacky but wholesome premise. Here’s everything we know about IF so far.

IF teases its Super Bowl sneak peak in the style of The Office

Viewers will get another sneak peek at IF during the Super Bowl on Sunday. However, until then, they can watch John Krasinski, Randall Park, and Ryan Reynolds revive one of The Office‘s funniest pranks in the video below.

The video sees Park joining Reynolds to discuss the upcoming movie IF. However, Reynolds is taken aback when Park introduces himself as Krasinski. Reynolds can’t tell if Park knows specific details about Krasinski’s life because he is Krasinksi or because he got them off Wikipedia. In the end, Reynolds’ protests go unheard as Park is referred to as the “visionary director John Krasinski” before the video dives into some behind-the-scenes footage. The video references a bit that Krasinski and Park did on The Office, where Jim (Krasinski) has his actor friend Steve (Park) pretend to be him, much to the confusion of Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson).

Viewers then get to see some behind-the-scenes footage, as Park and Reynolds describe the movie as a “live-action Pixar movie” about a girl going through a challenging experience who starts to see everyone’s imaginary friends as a coping mechanism. Viewers should stay tuned for the actual IF teaser or trailer arriving on Super Bowl Sunday.

Paramount Pictures drops the first imaginative teaser trailer for IF

Ryan Reynolds next to a purple imaginary friend voiced by Steve Carell in IF
(Paramount Pictures)

IF’s first official teaser trailer dropped on December 14, 2023, and offers a heartwarming look at the imaginative and innocent premise. Viewers won’t have to wait too long for the film, as it is slated to arrive in theaters on May 17, 2024.

The trailer captures the humorous tone of the film and shows off some of its star-studded cast. We see Reynolds’ character shocked to find a large purple IF in his home. Soon, more of these IFs start popping up, and it turns out they need help. Fortunately, a young girl also has the ability to see IFs, and she teams up with Reynolds to help them. Based on the short preview, IF looks like the perfect film to watch with the whole family. It’s imaginative and succeeds in adapting the IFs in a way that reflects a child’s imagination and is bound to stir nostalgia among adult viewers. Additionally, there are hints of an emotional storyline regarding the reason why the main characters can see these IFs.

What to expect from IF

Ryan Reynolds and Cailey Fleming in IF
(Paramount Pictures)

The names of the characters in IF have not yet been revealed. However, the film has quite the cast. As mentioned above, Reynolds stars in the film as a man with the ability to see IFs. Starring opposite Reynolds is rising actress Cailey Fleming as a young girl who can also see IFs. Fleming is best known for her roles as Judith Grimes in The Walking Dead and Young Sylvie in Loki. In addition to writing, directing, and producing the film, Krasinski appears in the movie in an undisclosed live-action role. Fiona Shaw is slated to appear in IF in a live-action role, too.

As for the voices of the CGI characters, Steve Carell is set to voice the main big, fluffy purple IF. Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Louis Gossett Jr. are also confirmed to have voice-acting roles. Rounding out the cast in undisclosed roles are Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Sam Rockwell, Vince Vaughn, Awkwafina, Maya Rudolph, and Bobby Moynihan.

Meanwhile, the official synopsis for IF reads:

From writer and director John Krasinski, IF is about a girl who discovers that she can see everyone’s imaginary friends — and what she does with that superpower — as she embarks on a magical adventure to reconnect forgotten IFs with their kids. IF stars Ryan Reynolds, John Krasinski, Cailey Fleming, Fiona Shaw, and the voices of Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Louis Gossett Jr. and Steve Carell alongside many more as the wonderfully unique characters that reflect the incredible power of a child’s imagination.

Essentially, Reynolds and Fleming can see everyone’s IFs, including those whose kids have grown up and forgotten about them. Hence, it’s up to the pair to match all the forgotten IFs with new owners. The synopsis on Rotten Tomatoes also suggests that it’s a “difficult experience” that gives Fleming her unusual ability. If this is the reason why Reynolds can see them, too, it could make the story quite emotional. Perhaps these two humans need the IFs as much as the IFs need them. Ultimately, with a strong cast, a creative premise, and a family-friendly story, IF is one wholesome film to look out for next year.

(featured image: Paramount Pictures)

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.