Along with his Platinum Dunes partners Brad Fuller and Michael Bay, producer Andrew Form has had some great successes over the course of his career thus far. Films like 2005’s The Amityville Horror, the Purge franchise, and the critically acclaimed Ouija: Origin of Evil have all performed swimmingly. But nothing quite matches just how massively A Quiet Place exploded earlier this year. The project originated with a spec script that Form and Fuller presented to John Krasinski as a potential starring vehicle, but Krasinski countered that he wanted to also rewrite and direct the film, explaining during a lengthy conversation exactly what his take on the material would be. Form and Fuller were floored by the specificity of Krasinski’s vision, and thus A Quiet Place roared forward.
The film opened in theaters this past April to a whopping $50 million on opening weekend, and went on to gross over $320 million worldwide. Moreover, it’s a critical smash, still standing as one of the best reviewed films of the year. Krasinski’s masterful handle of tension, the stellar performances, and a thematic focus on parenting and loss adds up to a thrilling and surprisingly emotional viewing experience, and the film will no doubt endure for a long time to come.
With A Quiet Place now available on Digital HD and landing on 4K Blu-ray, Blu-ray, and DVD on July 10th (that’s today!), I recently got the chance to speak with Form about the film with the benefit of hindsight. He discussed the film’s smashing success, how Krasinski convinced them he was the right person to direct, what changed in the story when Krasinski rewrote the script, and the status of A Quiet Place 2. Form also talked about the upcoming Jack Ryan TV series (which also stars Krasinski), the Purge TV series, the future of the Purge franchise, and more.
Check out the full interview below.
So when did you know you had something special with this one?
ANDREW FORM: The first time we really screened the movie was SXSW, and I can say when I walked away from that screening I think that’s when I knew. It was like, ‘Wow, we might have something really special.’
Were the box office numbers surprising? Did anyone predict it’d be as big of a breakout hit as it was?
FORM: No, I mean it’s at $187 million domestic, there’s no way anyone ever thought the movie could do that. These are crazy numbers. You’re just hoping you can open the movie at all. We’ve been down this road so many times over the years where you have one that you think is gonna open and it doesn’t, then you have one like maybe this’ll find an audience and it does, but you never can see something like this coming. This has been the most unbelievable ride.
If I remember correctly, you guys approached John with this as a starring vehicle and he countered that he wanted to also direct. What was your initial reaction when he came to you with that idea?
FORM: When he said it on the phone—it was either a Skype or a FaceTime, but we were looking at each other and he was in New York and we were in L.A.—and when he said, ‘I wanna do it but I wanna rewrite it and I wanna direct it,’ and you kinda looked at him like, ‘Okay…’ and he’s like, ‘Here’s what I’m thinking.’ He dove right in. I remember him hitting me right off the bat with the sand paths. He was like, ‘You know how they get around? It’s sand and they’re barefoot. It doesn’t make any noise,’ and I was like, ‘Holy shit.’ Then an hour later after going through all his thoughts on the material and what he wanted to do with it, Brad [Fuller] and I were like, ‘We found the director! We’re done! Let’s go!’ and we called Paramount and were like, ‘Here’s what we wanna do.’ It was that easy. It was just one of those where the three of us were in sync from that first conversation and we’re still in sync and it’s been 18 months. It’s been such an amazing process.
It’s been clear from his interviews that he had a very specific vision once he read that screenplay.
FORM: Yeah for sure. And he’s said this, coming off of The Hollers, for him to jump in and say, ‘I want to direct this movie. This is my next film.’ It was in his DNA, and he’s said that. When he read this, it spoke to him and he really saw what it could be and he was really able to take what that spec script was and really make it his own. It’s amazing what he did with the film, it really is.
I know the script went through some evolution when John did his draft. What were some of the biggest changes he made plot-wise?
FORM: In the original spec there were flashbacks, and obviously they’re not in the movie. They were fully removed, all the flashbacks were taken out. I’m trying to remember, this was so long ago. The opening of the movie, the first seven minutes of the movie was John. Again, I can only say the best things because we’ve made a lot of movies over the years and this process has been so, so good. I can only say so many amazing things about John and working on this.
The father’s death scene is one of the most emotional parts of the film, and that’s one of the things that was so surprising about this was I didn’t go into this movie expecting to be so emotionally moved. Was the father character always supposed to die, or was that something that came up in discussion?
FORM: If I’m remembering correctly it was always a sacrifice, but I think what really changed was the, ‘I love you and I have always loved you.’ What that does emotionally, that’s where I cry. And I was there! I was there when we shot it and all the way through the process, and it still gets me.
With a hit this big obviously the sequel conversations began. What’s the status of a follow-up, and will John be involved?
FORM: Oh he’s definitely involved. We’re lucky on this one. I’ve had movies where the studio says to you, ‘Here’s your date. Let’s go!’ and on this one we’re not rushing anything, which is amazing. So we’re gonna take our time, we’re gonna figure out where to go, but there is no rush on it and we’re just starting to talk about it. We’re figuring out what everyone’s involvement’s gonna be and what the actual next movie’s gonna be. The first one is so special to us that we really want to take our time with this and not rush anything.
Do you think that John’s gonna be writing and directing again?
FORM: I think it’s too early to talk about that.
The world building of the first film was so great, there’s a lot of potential there for different kinds of stories. Are you thinking of following different characters?
FORM: We haven’t even gotten there yet. We just haven’t gotten there yet.
Well it’s kind of refreshing to hear that it’s not a situation where you have an October 2019 release date and are rushing to get it together.
FORM: No, we cannot do that. It’s such a special movie to us, the experience and everything. It’s easy to rush these and we’ve made movies in the past where we’ve rushed them through and we’ve felt it, and we just don’t wanna do it on this one. We really don’t. We really just wanna take our time and as long as it takes, it takes. It has to be the right story, just like the first one. It just has to be.