6

The blurb for A Quiet Place (2018) immediately made me think of the book The Silence (2015) by Tim Lebbon (which I read last month).

They're both about blind creatures that hunt by noise and a family who have a deaf kid so they are able to communicate using sign language.

Is the film based on that book?

1
  • 1
    You're certainly not the first person to have noticed :-)
    – Valorum
    Sep 2, 2018 at 9:57

2 Answers 2

8

Not according to the scriptwriters of A Quiet Place. They claim (with some justification) to have begun outlining the script before 2012 and started writing their first treatments and drafts from 2013 onward. Although The Silence was being written at much the same time, I can't see any obvious way that the scriptwriters would have access to a novel that wasn't published until two years later, in 2015.

Filmmaker: So it was around 2013 when you started work on the script?

Beck: The original concept actually goes back to when we were in college. We were watching a lot of silent films, things with Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. Jacques Tati was an absolute favorite of ours. We were enamored with how they were such visual storytellers. They didn’t need dialogue or exposition to tell a story and that got our minds going about how we could bend that into a genre context. We shoved away that notion for a few years until around 2013 and that idea about non-verbal storytelling started connecting with this idea about a creature that operates off of sound and will kill you if you make a noise. Then came the idea of a family that lives on a farm, not unlike where we grew up in Iowa. That led to all these set pieces, like the one in the grain silo.

“How Do You Communicate Backstory, Motivation and Theme Without Dialogue?” A Quiet Place Screenwriters Bryan Woods and Scott Beck at SXSW 2018


The author of The Silence is aware of the deep similarities and described it (on his blog) as "disturbing" but there doesn't seem to have been any action taken against the makers of A Quiet Place. Presumably his disturbance is more to do with the fact that its existence might disrupt his chances of taking his own book to the big screen.

Q. I just saw a preview of a film which, 45 seconds in, had me thinking it was based on ‘The Silence’ (which I enjoyed muchly!). The film is ‘A Quiet Place’ – ‘If they can’t hear you, they can’t hunt you’ – and for the first 78 seconds of the preview, there is no sound, everyone is tip-toeing and speaking in sign language. TOO close to your book. Were you aware of it? Here’s the teaser.

Lebbon: Thanks Bill, yes, we’re aware.

and

Lebbon: Hi Folks … thanks for your comments and concerns. There are similarities, of course, but I’m confident that the movie of The Silence will stand on its own. It’s going to be epic!

It is a little troubling, but I guess that’s all I can say about it.

and

Lebbon: There are similarities with A Quiet Place, but the movies are very different. The Silence team are still in post-production, but as soon are there are set photos, trailers, or anything else to share, they’ll be here.

2
  • I see you use <sub><sup> for the source of your quote. I worry that might be a bit too small for some people; wouldn't a single <sub> or <sup> suffice?
    – SQB
    Sep 2, 2018 at 10:12
  • 1
    @SQB - TBH my main goal is to have a link that people can click while making it as unobtrusive as possible.
    – Valorum
    Sep 2, 2018 at 10:15
0

Before book release:

''By 2013, they began working on the story that would lead to the film''

  • Does not mean they had it all worked out though.

After book release:

''In January 2016, Beck and Woods began writing A Quiet Place in earnest.[15] Krasinski read their spec script the following July.''

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Quiet_Place_(film)

1
  • 1
    I think we can reasonably assume that they had the central tenet of the film worked out. Otherwise it's just a woman who lives in the woods.
    – Valorum
    Oct 29, 2019 at 8:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.