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How A Quiet Place Defied All Odds to Become a Blockbuster

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.’”

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TIME 100 Gala

We’ve updated the gallery with some lovely photos of Emily and John attending the TIME 100 Gala at the Lincoln Center in New York. The event celebrated the magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world, and John was one of the honorees. You can find the full list of those honored by clicking here.

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Appearing on Live with Kelly and Ryan

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.

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Variety’s Power of Women: New York

We’ve updated the gallery with some wonderful photos of Emily attending Variety’s Power of Women event at Cipriani Wall Street in New York. Other attendees at the event included Alicia Keys, Christine Baranski, Emily Mortimer, Tina Fey and Viola Davis. Be sure to take a look-and check back for further coverage.

VARIETY – Emily Blunt discussed how women are transforming the world during Variety’s Power of Women event in New York.

Blunt said the topic of girls’ education “moves and matters” to her greatly. After recounting daily conversations with her 4-year-old daughter, Hazel, about what she learned in school (“The other night … she said, ‘Do you know how to get to Harlem? You take the A train, it’s the quickest way’”), the actress said she learns from her children.

“They yearn to learn, they crave it,” she said of her daughters. “They are lucky enough — and as was I and as were most girls that I knew growing up — that your dreams were never going to fall on deaf ears, and that your thoughts and voice mattered and could make a difference.”

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Emily Covers Variety’s Power of Women Issue

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.

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