I never would have guessed that a horror movie starring real-life couple John Krasinski and Emily Blunt was what the world needed, but A Quiet Place has boldly proved us all wrong. The near-silent film is a creepy take on a universe where any sound at all attracts deadly monsters. Playing parents of young children in the film, Blunt and Krasinski, who directed the picture, have both received praise for their work in the movie. But the final project could have played out a little differently: A Quiet Place was almost a Cloverfield sequel, and I'm shaking by just thinking about what could have been.
Speaking to /Film about their original screenplay of A Quiet Place, writers Scott Beck and Bryan Woods revealed that they almost made the film an addition to the famous sci-fi anthology franchise. While they eventually co-wrote the final script with Krasinski, Beck and Woods conceived the original story together, as Beck explained:
I guess it crossed our mind and we had spoken to our representatives about that possibility. It was weird timing, though, because when we were writing the script, 10 Cloverfield Lane was at Paramount. We were actually talking to an executive there about this film, and it felt from pitch form that there might be crossover, but when we finally took the final script in to Paramount, they saw it as a totally different movie.
2016's 10 Cloverfield Lane performed well with both critics and fans, but two years later, A Quiet Place is definitely challenging that level of success. Although Beck and Woods considered turning their project into a Cloverfield piece, they confirmed that Paramount never truly considered "branding" it as part of that franchise. In the end, that decision seems to be for the best, as Woods said:
One of our biggest fears was [A Quiet Place] getting swept up into some kind of franchise or repurposed for something like that. The reason I say ‘biggest fear’ — we love the Cloverfield movies. They’re excellent. It’s just that as filmgoers, we crave new and original ideas, and we feel like so much of what’s out there is IP. It’s comic books, it’s remakes, it’s sequels. We show up to all of them, we enjoy those movies too, but our dream was always to drop something different into the marketplace, so we feel grateful that Paramount embraced the movie as its own thing.
There is a certain kind of pressure for filmmakers to take the most opportune offers, but Beck and Woods' dedication to seeing the project through paid off, as Krasinski carried out the same loyalty to the story's message. Speaking to the New York Times, he explained the importance of A Quiet Place's experiments with sound:
We live in a world now where you see all these movies, like Marvel movies, and there's so much sound going on, so many explosions. I love those movies, but there's something about all that noise that assaults you in a way. We thought, what if you pulled it all back? Would that make it feel just as disconcerting and just as uncomfortable and tense?... I decided to take a big leap. I thought, if I'm worried that people aren't going to get it, then I'm probably doing something right.
Given the surprise debut of the third Cloverfield film, The Cloverfield Paradox, on Netflix earlier this year, it's hard to imagine what A Quiet Place would have become under that unpredictable marketing. While it likely would be just as creepy, the horror film probably wouldn't be reaching the massive audience it has. From celebrity admirers to regular moviegoers, admiration for A Quiet Place is thriving.
It just goes to show that sticking to your gut when it comes to your passion project, as Beck and Woods did, is totally worth it.