Since Bird Box premiered on Netflix, the Internet has debated what kind of creature would drive human beings to kill themselves. Is the mass suicide caused by aliens? A virus? Lovecraftian entities from beyond the veil of human comprehension that drive normal brains to seek death rather than live in perpetual madness? Your guess is as good as ours, dear reader.
Last week, director Susanne Bier, screenwriter Eric Heisserer (who adapted Josh Malerman's novel), and star Sandra Bullock revealed that the film almost featured a sequence with one of the monsters, but it ended up looking too silly, resembling "a long fat baby.” The prop itself was described by Bier as "a green man with a horrific baby face," which sounds a bit unnerving, but it never quite achieved that on set.
Running with Bullock's description of the unseen creature, Adam Perocchi, the artist of Readful Things — a business that turns pop culture icons into custom retro toys that remind one of the collectibles fabricated during the 1970s and '80s — came up with a model of the "long fat baby," essentially a newborn's face attached to a neon green snake tail. The name of the shop is a play on Stephen King's 1991 novel, Needful Things.
"I read that interview ... before I watched the movie," Perocchi tells SYFY WIRE. "So, any time a character was reacting to the monster — I would envision this floating snake with an oversized infant head. I needed to see this. I grabbed some clay and sculpted exactly what I was seeing in my head: a hovering, ear-less, serpent baby. I drew up the artwork & printed the backing card after that. That's pretty much it. Also, I may or may not have done this all blindfolded."
All in all, we're glad that the monsters never showed up onscreen, save for the rustling of leaves, ominous whispers, and Gary's disturbing illustrations. The concept of the unknown is much more frightening in the long run and allows viewers to picture any number of horrific things without being spoon-fed one singular design.
Now streaming on Netflix, Bird Box was reportedly watched by 45 million people in its first seven days, making it the company's strongest film debut to date.