What to know about Ryan Reynolds’ new film If

Director John Krasinski gathers an all-star cast for his family comedy

Cailey Fleming and BLUE in a scene from IF
Marvel actor Cailey Fleming plays Bea in new family comedy If. (Paramount)

The Office star-turned-director John Krasinski swaps A Quiet Place for an imaginary one in If, his new family comedy that gathers a star-studded cast to bring some fictional friends to life.

In addition to directing his latest movie, Krasinski has written and produced If too, with none other than Deadpool’s own Ryan Reynolds set to star in the leading role.

As the movie nears its release date, more and more big-name actors have been confirmed to star, each lending their voice to the film’s extensive list of imaginary characters.

Read on for all the key details you need about Krasinski’s If, including its cast, plot, trailers and when you can see it for yourself.

Ryan Reynolds and Cailey Fleming in a scene from IF
Fleming appears opposite Deadpool himself, Ryan Reynolds. (Paramount)

Krasinski’s If will be released exclusively in UK cinemas on Friday, 17 May, with a streaming release date yet to be confirmed.

The film was originally due to be land in November 2023 but was delayed due to the Hollywood strikes.

Ryan Reynolds and director John Krasinski on the set of IF
Reynolds on set with director John Krasinski. (Paramount)

Critics have delivered mixed verdicts on the family-friendly tale, which has a 56% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The Telegraph praised Krasinski’s “artful, sweet, imagination-driven story” with surprising echoes of The Sixth Sense, but the Independent’s two-star review argued that it “isn’t so much a film but a series of emotional cues”.

Read the full reviews below:

The Independent: John Krasinski and Ryan Reynolds aim (unsuccessfully) for Spielbergian wonder (3-min read)

The Telegraph: Ryan Reynolds’ and John Krasinski’s Sixth Sense for kids is surprisingly charming (3-min read)

The Hollywood Reporter: Ryan Reynolds Leads a John Krasinski-Directed Family Film That’s Easier to Admire Than Enjoy (4-min read)

Deadline: Childhood Wonder Succumbs To Deep Melodrama In John Krasinski’s Latest Film (4-min read)

The Wrap: John Krasinski’s Kid-Friendly Fantasy Rings Mostly Hollow (3-min read)

The latest trailer for If appeared in April and saw Reynolds invite us all into an imaginary world where we meet some imaginary friends who have seen better days.

Before this trailer arrived, a teaser introduced us to Krasinski’s film and a batch of imaginary friends facing an uncertain future now that their kids have forgotten about them.

Watch it below:

A short featurette released during this year’s Super Bowl allowed Reynolds to shed some more light on what’s in store, alongside The US Office star Randall Park pretending to be Krasinski.

Bobby Moynihan, Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Cailey Fleming, Audrey Hoffman, Ryan Reynolds, Alan Kim, Fiona Shaw, Maya Rudolph and Matt Damon at the New York premiere of If
The film boasts an all-star cast. (Variety via Getty)

If is set in a world where imaginary friends — here known as IFs for short — are as real as can be and facing a dilemma that’s equally real.

As the kids who dreamed them up become adults and forget that they ever existed, IFs run the risk of disappearing entirely unless they can find a way to reconnect with their old playmates.

The movie’s official synopsis reads: “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.”

The young girl at the centre of the story is Bea. She must use her IF-spotting superpower to work alongside her neighbour Cal to save as many IFs as they can before it’s too late.

Steve Carell attends the premiere of If at SVA Theater
Steve Carrell voices big furry monster Blue in If. (WireImage)

Cailey Fleming plays Bea, the young girl who uses her special ability to see imaginary friends to save them from disappearing. You may recognise Fleming from her appearances in Loki and as a young Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Fleming is joined by Reynolds as Cal, Bea’s neighbour who can also see IFs and agrees to help on her mission. Krasinski appears in front of the camera as Bea’s dad, with Killing Eve star Fiona Shaw playing her grandmother.

The movie’s live-action cast is rounded out with appearances from Minari’s Alan Kim, The Bear’s Liza Colón-Zayas and former Saturday Night Live star Bobby Moynihan.

Meanwhile, If features a stacked list of guest stars as the voices of its Ifs, with Krasinski's old Office boss Steve Carell leading the way as the big furry monster Blue. He’s joined by Phoebe Waller-Bridge as human-ladybird Blossom, George Clooney as a spaceman, the late Louis Gossett Jr. as a bear named Lewis, Krasinksi’s real-life wife Emily Blunt as Unicorn and Matt Damon as a flower named Sunny.

Elsewhere, comedian and actor Maya Rudolf plays alligator Ally, The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart is Robot, Sam Rockwell plays Superhero Dog and Awkwafina plays a character named Bubble.

Keegan Michael-Key voices Slime, Bradley Cooper brings a glass of ice water to life, Blake Lively voices Octocat and Amy Schumer is a giant gummy bear.

Vince Vaughn, Matthew Rhys, Richard Jenkins, Christopher Meloni and Sebastian Sebastian Maniscalco also lend their voices to Krasinski’s movie.

If will be released in UK cinemas on Friday, 17 May