A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place almost joined a bigger cinematic universe, say the movie's screenwriters

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Apr 8, 2018

Like an irritated librarian, A Quiet Place shushed its way into theaters this weekend and has already scared up a silent $19 million, with most outlets putting its final weekend tally at around $45 million. The horror film, nearly devoid of all human speech, marks the directorial debut of Office star John Krasinski, who stars alongside his real-world wife Emily Blunt as a father trying to protect his children from terrifying creatures attracted to any and all loud noises.

Thanks to the ingenuity on the part of the marketing department at Paramount, very little was known about the film's monsters and their origin in the run-up to the movie's theatrical release. Sure, there were hints in the trailers, but the overall mystery helped ensure people would pay for a ticket, just so they could see these beasts up close and personal for themselves. Monsters? Mysteries? It all sounds familiar because those things are the cornerstone of the Cloverfield universe, which is owned by Paramount Pictures, the studio behind A Quiet Place.

With its self-contained sci-fi premise and minimal explanations provided, Krasinski's first movie feels like it could be a part of the Cloverfield universe, and indeed it almost became another installment in J.J.'s wild circus of massive sea behemoths and space stations. While speaking to /Film, Quiet Place screenwriters Scott Beck and Bryan Woods revealed that while they were writing the script (which would be rewritten by Krasinski later on), 10 Cloverfield Lane landed 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," said Beck. "What was really incredible about the process that we feel very grateful for is the studio embraced this weird movie with no dialogue with open arms. They never thought about branding it as Cloverfield film, I think in part because conceptually it was able to stand on its own."

Woods added his pleasure that A Quiet Place was able to be something that could stand on its own, rather than having to be associated with an established franchise.

"And our biggest fear was – we love Bad Robot, we love the people over there, and obviously J.J. [Abrams] is certainly a hero to us – but one of our biggest fears was this getting swept up into some kind of franchise or repurposed for something like that," he said. "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."

Things probably turned out for the best, since The Cloverfield Paradox got amazing publicity but terrible reviews. Nevertheless, A Quiet Place probably would have been a much better threequel to the first Cloverfield if the movie did become part of its universe. At the end of the day, you can always head-canon the two into the same reality before the fourth Cloverfield installment arrives in October