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Steve Carell is Ryan Reynolds’ Imaginary Friend in Star-Studded ‘IF’ Trailer

You’ve got to see it to believe it! The first trailer for John Krasinski’s latest directorial venture, IF, invites you to believe in the power of make-believe, offering a glimpse into a world where the imaginary becomes real. This wholesome upcoming family adventure, directed and written by Krasinski himself (in which he also stars), introduces us to a world where IFs—an acronym for ‘Imaginary Friends’—get a second chance, when a young girl begins encountering abandoned imaginary companions brought back to life by the forgotten wishes of their childhood creators.

According to the official synopsis, 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.” Ryan Reynolds takes the lead role in this star-studded film, alongside a stellar cast featuring John Krasinski, Cailey Fleming, Steve Carell, Fiona Shaw, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Louis Gossett Jr., Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Maya Rudolph, Jon Stewart, Bobby Moynihan, Sam Rockwell, Sebastian Maniscalco, Christopher Meloni, Richard Jenkins, and Awkwafina.

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'If' Trailer
Image: Paramount Pictures

The trailer for IF opens with Ryan Reynolds, who can also see IFs, quietly sneaking through a kid’s room toward a closet, as the words, “What if everything you believed as a kid was real?” appear on the screen. The closet then swings open, revealing a big, furry, purple IF voiced by Steve Carell, stepping out and saying, “Hi!”

We later hear Carell’s IF reassuring Reynolds, saying, “She is the perfect fit, I promise.” Reynolds asks, “Did she even see you?” to which Carell humorously responds, “She was about to,” right before letting out a colossal sneeze.

The trailer then introduces us to Cailey Fleming, the young girl in question, “who discovers that she can see everyone’s imaginary friends.” She encounters a bob-haired IF with large eyes (voiced by Phoebe Waller-Bridge) likely for the first time and faints. Puzzled by what she’d just seen, she later asks, “What’s happening?,” leading to Carell’s character to clarify, “I’m an IF, get it? Imaginary friend.” We also get to see shots of other imaginary friends trying to connect with people in the real world but failing to do so. One of the imaginary friends says to Fleming, “Our kids grew up, so we need new ones. You could save all of us.” 

'If' Trailer
Ryan Reynolds and director John Krasinski on the set of ‘IF’ | Image: Paramount Pictures

IF is produced by John Krasinski’s Sunday Night Productions, in collaboration with Ryan Reynolds and his banner Maximum Effort. The film also sees involvement from Allyson Seeger and Andrew Form. Krasinski shared his inspiration for the project with Entertainment Weekly, stating, “I figured I needed to make a movie for my kids. 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.”

Interestingly enough, it also marks a reunion for John Krasinski and Steve Carell, rekindling their collaboration from The Office days. Krasinski expressed his excitement to Entertainment Weekly, stating, “Oh my God, The Office reunion we’ve all been waiting for is in it. The truth is, Steve’s one of the most talented people on the planet. So whether I had ever worked with him before or not, I would’ve been gunning for him because I just had his voice in my head when I was writing Blue.”

IF hits in theaters on May 17.