VULTURE – Since April, media coverage of the Paramount Pictures horror hit A Quiet Place has generally coalesced into two distinct groupings. There are the “Can you believe Jim from The Office made such a good movie?”–type of profiles that came out right around the $17 million film’s release in early April — detailing how John Krasinski surpassed all expectations to co-write, direct, and star in the ecstatically reviewed family drama/monster movie, his first foray into genre fare as either a filmmaker or an actor. Then there are the financial over-performance analyses announcing how A Quiet Place made “noise at the box office,” capturing the top spot in its first and third weekends in theaters, becoming Paramount’s most profitable film since 2015’s Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation, and racking up more than $300 million worldwide in less than two months to rank as the year’s third-highest-grossing film and most surprising breakout success.
But to hear it from the filmmakers and production executives who worked behind the scenes to develop the material and guide it through the studio system — namely, Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, who co-wrote and executive produced A Quiet Place, and Brad Fuller and Andrew Form, co-founders of the production company Platinum Dunes, who produced it — there’s a competing narrative that has received far less media scrutiny. They point out the creative leaps of faith required to make an original film like AQP in modern Hollywood’s risk-phobic, cinematic-universe-obsessed, IP-chasing marketplace, while also laying out all the ways the project could have failed to achieve liftoff.
Containing almost no dialogue, and based on an oddball 67-page screenplay full of maps and diagrams and Photoshopped images, the project was willfully dissimilar to anything coming out of the studios’ major moviemaking pipeline. The writers were actively discouraged from even putting together what some people close to them dismissed as their “silent movie.” Nothing in Krasinski’s filmic oeuvre suggested the affable Everyman actor — whose two previous directorial efforts, Brief Interviews With Hideous Men and The Hollars combined to gross just over $1 million — was even remotely capable of handling the material. Many of the executives who originally gave A Quiet Place the green light were either fired or quit Paramount during a recent regime change — an outcome that has orphaned or derailed many films in the past. Then when the earliest cuts of AQP were first screened at the studio, missing visual-effects shots and incomplete sound design made the movie seem almost incomprehensible, leading some to doubt its commerciality. And it wasn’t until the film premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival in March that anyone had any inkling it could connect with audiences.
“The movie was risky on every level,” says Form. “You start reading [the script] and go, ‘Oh, there’s no dialogue.’ The idea was so original. And here we are coming to the studio with John: ‘This is the guy we’re betting on to star, write and direct this movie for us. And we’re all in on him! You have to trust us. We’re not going to let you down.’”
Rounding off her busy press commitments for A Quiet Place, Emily stopped by Live with Kelly and Ryan to discuss the film, taking on the role of Mary Poppins, and her thoughts of the rumors of her becoming the next 007 in the James Bond franchise. You can skip straight to her interview at the 16:00 mark in the video below.
Emily Blunt popped by the Absolute Radio studios to chat to Pete Donaldson about her incredible new film A Quiet Place, if stories about her being the next James Bond are true, and the strangest rumours she’s heard about herself!
VARIETY – As soon as her husband finished describing the story, which centers on a family struggling to stay alive in a world in which lethal creatures hunt down anyone who makes noise, Blunt was convincing him to slide behind the camera, as well as star in the picture. After reading his re-write of the script, she realized that “A Quiet Place” should be their first on-screen pairing. She wanted to play Krasinski’s wife in the film, a pregnant mother desperate to keep her kids safe in a menacing world. But there was a catch.
“I read his version of the script and after previously saying he should cast a friend of mine, I was like, ‘you probably should call her,’” remembers Blunt. “I need to play this part.”
Critics loved the finished film, praising its thrills and scares, and audiences agree. “A Quiet Place” dominated the box office last weekend, picking up a mighty $50 million. Two weeks before the film premiered, Blunt braved a storm to sit down with Variety in New York to talk about the film, her upcoming role in “Mary Poppins Returns,” and how she’s navigating Hollywood in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
Why did you want to play the part?
It represented my deepest fears in real life. It was something incredibly close to home for me, being a mother. I’m scared of being in a brutal world and not being able to protect my children.
Do you like horror films?
I never watched them. John did his research. He watched so many, and I was like I will not be watching any of them. I watched most of “Get Out” and then I panicked and couldn’t watch any more. I loved it, but films like that keep me up at night.
How wonderful is this? The biggest opening weekend of Emily’s career–by far. Not only are we extremely happy for her, but also for husband John Krasinksi, and everyone else involved in bringing the project to life. Congratulations everyone!
TIME – John Krasinksi’s “A Quiet Place” made a thunderous debut at the box office, opening with $50 million in ticket sales and rumbling to the year’s second-best weekend after “Black Panther,” according to studio estimates Sunday.
The Paramount Pictures thriller far exceeded expectations to land one of the top opening weekends for a horror release. It marks an unlikely breakthrough for Krasinski, the former “Office” star many associate more with inter-office romance and deadpan expressions than silent cinematic frights. Krasinski’s third directing effort, which stars himself and wife Emily Blunt is about a family in a future dystopia populated by violent creatures with extremely acute hearing.
But it was far from the only success story on the weekend, which also saw Universal’s R-rated comedy “Blockers” open solidly with $21.4 million, Steven Spielberg’s virtual-reality adventure “Ready Player One” dip only 40 percent with $25.1 million in its second weekend and the period docudrama “Chappaquiddick” beat expectations with a debut of $6.2 million. In limited release, Wes Anderson’s “Isle of Dogs,” Lynne Ramsay’s “You Were Never Really Here” and Andrew Haigh’s “Lean on Pete” all did well, too.
For one weekend, at least, just about everything Hollywood could throw at moviegoers worked. The weekend was up 35.3 percent from last year.
But nothing approached the runaway success of “A Quiet Place.” Hollywood had forecast closer to $30 million for the film, which cost just $17 million to make. Yet “A Quiet Place” rode strong buzz from its SXSW premiere in March, good reviews (97 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) and moviegoers’ continuing thirst for horror.
“We always knew we had something special from the first screenings. But you don’t get to a number like this without breaking free of the genre. I think this is about great storytelling,” said Kyle Davies, head of domestic distribution for Paramount, who heaped praise on Krasinski. “We’re looking forward to what else he has up his sleeve.”
Earlier today, or technically this evening over in the UK–Emily and John made their appearance on The Graham Norton Show, alongside Kylie Minogue and Tom Holland. As many of you will no doubt know by now, Emily and Graham have a great rapport whenever she’s on the show (as he does with most guests) – and so it’s great to see her husband as part of that, too. Screen captures from the appearance will follow, but for now, enjoy stills as well as the full episode, which you can view here.