Even with Black Panther and Stranger Things stars in its cast, one of A Quiet Place: Day One's biggest characters is a cat, so "you have that element of unpredictability"

A Quiet Place: Day One
(Image credit: Paramount)

Warning: Mild spoilers for A Quiet Place: Day One ahead!

One of the most prominent characters in A Quiet Place: Day One is a cat named Frodo – director Michael Sarnoski says she did all her own stunts.

"Frodo’s character kind of came from the idea that this is one of the few remaining things that [Sam] still has from her life in the city. I always imagined Frodo was some stray city cat that she left milk out on the windowsill for and then he started coming by, and then he became her pet. And I mean, it made sense to me that a cat of all animals would kind of be able to survive in this quiet place world. They're predators, they understand how to stalk and be quiet," Sarnoski tells GamesRadar+. 

The movie, written and directed by Pig helmer Sarnoski, stars Lupita Nyong'o as Sam, whose first trip in a long time to New York City doesn't go as planned. With her cat Frodo by her side, she eventually meets a man named Eric (Joseph Quinn) and the three navigate this newfound apocalyptic world together.

Day One is the third installment in the A Quiet Place franchise, and serves as a prequel to the first film. John Krasinski directed the first two movies before handing the reigns over to Sarnoski. The cast also includes Alex Wolff, Djimon Hounsou, and Eliane Umuhire.

"I think one of the earliest images for the movie was this cancer patient walking through the streets with her cat on a leash. And that was kind of a striking image and something that I wanted to explore.," he explains. "And yeah, Frodo was amazing. Schnitzel and Nico play Frodo and they just brought it. I think everyone assumed we were going to have to use a CG cat or something. But we don't have any CG cats in the whole movie. Everything is actual cat performance. And I think you because of that Frodo feels like a real character."

Nico and Schnitzel are third-billed (or it sure seems that way) and even received their own featurette ahead of the movie's release. The impressive clips see Frodo evading those terrible, awful creatures with, well, cat-like reflexes. While many horror movies tend to use animals for shock value, Sarnoski had a different idea in mind (and no, we won't tell you what happens to the cat – you'll just have to go see the film.)

"I mean, I don't want people to have a full-on panic attack. I want to give them characters that they care about, and that they're worried about. And then with the cat, you have that element of unpredictability of, how much does this cat understand what's going on in the world around it? Is it going to do something foolish? Is it going to jeopardize itself and the characters like, I think it sort of adds this element of chance and unknown, which is, which is fun. And it's also just really sweet and cute."

A Quiet Place: Day One hits theaters on June 28. For more, check out our list of the most exciting upcoming movies in 2024 and beyond.

Lauren Milici
Senior Writer, Tv & Film

Lauren Milici is a Senior Entertainment Writer for GamesRadar+ currently based in the Midwest. She previously reported on breaking news for The Independent's Indy100 and created TV and film listicles for Ranker. Her work has been published in Fandom, Nerdist, Paste Magazine, Vulture, PopSugar, Fangoria, and more.