For a movie that Emily Blunt wasn’t initially scheduled to star in, things sure turned out well for her. The movie in question, a major hit in 2018, is now climbing the charts on Amazon Prime as it sits at #4.
A Quiet Place is the surprise horror hit of the past few years and stars Emily Blunt alongside her husband John Krasinski about a family living in a post-apocalyptic world inhabited by blind alien monsters who hunt using an acute sense of hearing.
When we first meet the Abbott family – father Lee (Krasinski), mother Evelyn (Blunt), deaf daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds), Marcus (Noah Jupe), and 4-year-old Beau (Cade Woodward), they are living the aftermath of the alien invasion, living in silence, living by scrounging.
The Abbotts are silently looking for supplies in a store in a deserted town. The young Beau is drawn to a battery-powered rocket ship, but his father takes it away because the toy would make noise. But Regan gives the ship to Beau, who also takes with him the batteries his father removed.
While crossing a bridge on their way back to their home, Beau decides to put the batteries in the ship and power it up. The noise is deafening, quickly alerting one of the nearby alien creatures. Lee, who is way ahead of his young son, races to save him. Lee almost gets there, but the creature gets to his son first. It’s a tense, brutal, heartbreaking scene that sets the tone for the entire movie.
The film jumps one year into the future and Regan continues to fight the guilt over her role in her younger brother’s death. Evelyn is in the final weeks of her pregnancy, and Lee has been trying in vain to make contact with the outside world. He has also been trying to devise an upgrade to Regan’s cochlear implants to no avail.
Lee takes Marcus fishing where the two go behind a large waterfall. Lee informs his son that the noise of the waterfall masks their voices so the creatures can’t hear them speak. It is here that Marcus tells his dad that Regan blames herself for Beau’s death. Marcus also tells his dad that he needs to tell Regan it isn’t her fault and that he still loves her.
Evelyn is alone at the house when she goes into labor. On her way to the basement and the soundproof room they’ve built, she steps on an exposed nail, dropping a glass picture frame. This alerts a nearby creature.
The home in which the Abbott’s live is more a farm and set up well to alert the family if the creatures are near. Evelyn is able to flip a switch to light up the farm, telling her family creatures are present. Seeing the lights, Lee tells Marcus to set off the fireworks to distract the creatures. When Lee finds Evelyn, she has already had their baby.
Lee gets Evelyn to the soundproof room, then leaves to go find Marcus and Regan. But his two kids have troubles of their own when they take refuge in a grain silo. As a creature nears Marcus and Regan, her cochlear implant reacts with a high-frequency noise. This noise disorients the creature.
Meanwhile, Evelyn wakes up in the soundproof room only to find that one of the creatures broke a water pipe and it’s flooding the basement. The creature is still in the house.
A Quiet Place was the tensest and exciting movie of 2018. Critics and audiences loved the film not only for its scares but for the performances of the entire cast. Krasinski’s film brought home over $350 million at the box office on a tidy $22 million budget.
Emily Blunt was especially noted for her performance as she grabbed a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role. Emily Blunt wasn’t even going to star in the movie when she convinced her husband to direct the film.
Krasinski actually wanted Blunt to star in the movie but at the time he got the script and started his rewrites, Emily Blunt was fully involved in Mary Poppins Returns. “I decided the safest thing to do was just have this experience on my own,” says Krasinski via The Hollywood Reporter. First off, Krasinksi was afraid his wife would flat-out reject the idea. Then he thought an even more dreadful thought. That she would say yes out of a sense of wifely duty. “I didn’t want this to be the one job that she was like, ‘Listen, I don’t know if I love this, but I love you, so I’ll do it.’”
Emily Blunt hadn’t yet read Krasinski’s rewrite but recommended an unnamed good friend for the role. “I was about to go into this enormous project,” Blunt says of Mary Poppins Returns. “I was like, ‘I can’t even.’” The couple was on a flight to Los Angeles where Krasinski was scheduled to meet with Paramount executives about A Quiet Place. This is when Blunt picked up Krasinski’s script and read it for the first time. “I went sort of gray,” she says. “I couldn’t imagine the thought of letting someone else play the part.”
She finally asked Krasinski if she could play the role of Evelyn. “It was like she was proposing to me,” he says. “It was one of the greatest moments in my career. I screamed out, ‘Yes!’ I’m surprised we didn’t emergency land in San Antonio.”
This isn’t the first time (and probably not the last) that Emily Blunt made headlines for either accepting a role or turning one down and one of the more famous roles Blunt had to say no to came from her accepting her role in the hit film The Devil Wears Prada.
Emily Blunt was director Jon Favreau’s first choice to play Natasha Romanoff in Iron Man 2. Blunt wanted to play the role as well but “I was contracted to do Gulliver’s Travels. I didn’t want to do Gulliver’s Travels,” she told Howard Stern on his show. Blunt then explained that she was under an “optional picture deal” with 20th Century Fox.
Upon winning her role in The Devil Wears Prada, she got it under the condition that Fox could use her in another film. So, fearing that deal could be used against her on passion projects she wished to star in, Blunt decided to commit to Gulliver’s Travels instead of taking on the role of Black Widow.
“It was a bit of a heartbreaker for me. I take such pride in the decisions that I make, and they mean so much to me, the films that I do,” she told Stern.
Natasha Romanoff is not the only Marvel character Blunt would take a pass on. She was Marvel’s first choice to play Agent Peggy Carter in the Captain America movies but decided to say no to that as well.
It hasn’t stopped Marvel from their continuing pursuit of Emily Blunt. After regaining the rights to the Fantastic Four, Blunt’s name has been all over the rumor mill as joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Sue Storm. The rumors have also included Krasinski coming on board as Reed Richards.
Emily Blunt has heard the rumors that Marvel wishes her to play Storm. “I have heard that. People have asked me about that a lot,” Blunt tells Entertainment Weekly. “But I have had no formal introduction to the Invisible Woman. No.”
A Quiet Place was so popular that a sequel was called for and recently released to just as much fanfare as the first.
Up next for Emily Blunt is another Disney film. This one is based on a popular Disney ride, Jungle Cruise and has Emily Blunt co-starring opposite Dwayne Johnson. Blunt also has the TV series The English in production as well as Live Die Repeat and Repeat, the sequel to the 2014 sci-fi hit film, Edge of Tomorrow starring Blunt with Tom Cruise.
If it’s thrills and chills you are looking for, A Quiet Place is a great solution. You can find it on Amazon Prime.