Paramount's 'A Quiet Place' Reverses Plans, Entire Cast to Compete as Supporting (Exclusive)

The campaign is adopting the same playbook previously employed — to good effect — by 'Crash,' 'Little Miss Sunshine,' 'Babel' and 'Spotlight.'
Jonny Cournoyer/Paramount Pictures
'A Quiet Place'

Since The Hollywood Reporter reported last week which awards categories a number of contending actors and actresses would be postitioned for — lead or supporting — the campaign for the critically acclaimed blockbuster A Quiet Place, an elevated horror film about a family that can only survive if it maintains total silence, has reassessed its strategy, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Paramount Pictures and director/actor John Krasinski, among others, had previously decided to push Krasinski and his real-life wife, Emily Blunt, who play a married couple in the film, as leads, and the actors who play their children, Noah Jupe and Millicent Simmonds, in the respective supporting categories.

After additional consideration, though, they have decided the film is a true ensemble with no actual lead and will therefore push the entire cast in supporting categories. A Quiet Place's online FYC sites have already been amended to reflect this new strategy.

Though no one associated with the campaign will say so on the record, a key consideration in this change of plans is clearly Blunt. By going lead, the popular actress would have stood a slim chance of garnering a nom for A Quiet Place — the category is jam-packed with showier and more Oscar-baity performances that hit theaters far more recently than April 6, when A Quiet Place was released — plus she might have undercut her own prospects in that category for a forthcoming film in which she is the indisputable lead: Mary Poppins Returns, in which she plays the title character, a role for which Julie Andrews won the best actress Oscar in 1965.

Whether or not Blunt ends up receiving recognition for Mary Poppins Returns (a Globes nod seems likely, but an Oscar nom perhaps a stretch), goodwill toward her in a year in which she has been so prolific could redound to her benefit in the thinner supporting actress category.

The strategy of pushing all members of a cast in supporting acting categories was pioneered by Open Road chief Tom Ortenberg back when he was at Lionsgate with 2005's Crash. (That film ultimately landed a single supporting acting nom, for Matt Dillon, en route to its best picture win.) It since has been employed by other top contenders, such as 2006's Little Miss Sunshine (Alan Arkin and Abigail Breslin landed noms and Arkin a win) and Babel (noms went to Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi), as well as 2015's best picture Spotlight (Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams were singled out), another Ortenberg-overseen campaign, and 2016's best picture Moonlight (Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris landed noms and Ali a win).

The next stop on the campaign trail for Krasinski and Blunt will be at the Savannah Film Festival, where they will collect individual honors Oct. 27.