A Quiet Place is an absolute box office smash, scoring the second-highest debut of 2018 and the third-highest opening for a horror movie ever. That the film is an original story not tied to any existing IP, superheroes, or YA novels makes the performance all the more impressive, but at one point in time there was consideration about tying A Quiet Place to another major franchise: The Cloverfield universe.
Writers Scott Beck and Bryan Woods revealed that during development, they themselves considered pitching A Quiet Place as a movie taking place within the Cloverfield universe. Speaking with /Film, Beck says it was Paramount Pictures that nixed the idea:
“That was one of those things that, I guess it crossed our mind and we had spoken to our representatives about that possibility. It was weird timing, though, because when we were writing the script, 10 Cloverfield Lane was 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. 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 a Cloverfield film, I think in part because conceptually it was able to stand on its own.”
That’s a unique twist—a studio not wanting to franchise out an idea, and instead bringing it to fruition as an original project. But Woods also notes that they did have some hesitation about the idea on their end, namely that the script would then be significantly altered if it moved over to Bad Robot:
“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. 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.”
Indeed, both 10 Cloverfield Lane and The Cloverfield Paradox started out as original scripts that were then retrofitted and reworked to take place within the Cloverfield universe, sometimes during production, so that would no doubt have occurred here.
And thank goodness it didn’t. A Quiet Place is a refreshing jolt of uniqueness and masterful storytelling via co-writer/star/director John Krasinski. The whole thing would have somehow felt cheapened if it was just another chapter in the ever-evolving Cloverfield universe. As it stands now, A Quiet Place is simply one of the best original horror films in recent memory, and one of the best films of 2018 by far.