When studio executives know they have a project that’s special, they waste no time in getting it to the screen.
Such was the case with Bryan Woods and Scott Beck’s horror thriller script A Quiet Place which was fast-tracked by Paramount and Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes. The feature was announced literally a year ago, and it will hit theaters on April 6.
The hook? There were only a few pages of dialogue in a script that was driven by silence and sound design. Inspired by the farmland atmosphere of Beck and Woods’ Iowa upbringing, A Quiet Place follows a family in a dystopian future where an unknown threat has forced them into a life of solitude on a rural farm.
Regaling us with how fast it took A Quiet Place to go into production at Paramount, Woods says that “Michael Bay called the head of the studio saying ‘You have to make this movie! Why aren’t we making this movie?'” The project was announced a few weeks before Jim Gianopulos took the reigns as CEO.
“We had so many experiences the other way, where a movie languishes in development for years and years and A Quiet Place was lightning fast: The studio bought it right away, two months of rewrites with their notes, not even, and greenlit,” says Woods.
John Krasinski who had starred in Bay’s 13 Hours as well as Platinum Dunes’ upcoming Amazon series Jack Ryan was asked about his interest in starring and potentially directing a genre project. It really wasn’t Krasinski’s wheelhouse until he heard the pitch: “About a family who can’t make any noise and you have to figure out why.”
The premise spoke volumes to husband and wife Krasinski and Emily Blunt who had just had their second baby. He wanted his wife to play the part, but didn’t put any pressure on her as they’ve kept their professional lives separate. Plus it’s no secret how Hollywood movies have pulled apart marriages, but Blunt went head first as the role was too good to pass up.
Krasinski recalls, “She came over to me on a plane and said ‘No one else can do this part,'” says the former Office alum, “It was like she was proposing to me.”
In Krasinski’s words, Blunt told him, “‘I usually have to pretend what I’m scared about like in Girl on the Train. … This is what I’m actually scared of: Protecting my kids, it’s what I live through every day.”
A Quiet Place opens on April 6. Pic was the opening night film at SXSW this year.
The Deadline Studio at SXSW 2018 is presented by MoviePass.