“In most apocalyptic stories, you’re looking for other survivors, and it’s devastating,” I Think We’re Alone Now director Reed Morano said at Deadline’s Sundance Studio this weekend.

Del (Peter Dinklage) is all alone in a post-apocalyptic world, and, Morano said, “for him it’s actually kind of a place of peace and contentment.” But then, “his worst nightmare is realized—he’s not actually the last person on Earth.”

When Grace (Elle Fanning) appears, Del is less than thrilled, and so ensues a story of human connection and the search for normalcy among chaos.

“Being alone is very different from being lonely,” Dinklage pointed out. “And I think that’s the journey this guy goes through. We choose to be alone when we want to be, if we’re lucky to have that option, but this is that you have no choice, and how that plays out is really interesting in the story.”

For Fanning, working with Morano, the DP-turned-director best known for directing episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale, was a very welcome challenge. “She allowed me to be free with myself and add elements of myself to Grace that I probably wouldn’t have been comfortable to do before,” Fanning said, “but for Reed, I feel like I’d do anything.”

“This is one of those projects, mainly because of Reed, that’s just going to be with me for the rest of my life,” Dinklage said.

The Deadline Studio is presented by Hyundai. Special thanks to Calii Love.