The Netflix original movie Bird Box is a post-apocalyptic thriller in which you never see the deadly creatures. There is something flying around the skies that makes anyone who sees it kill themselves graphically, but very smartly, Bird Box never actually shows the audience the creatures; after all, what you imagine is oftentimes scarier than what you see.
That said, the creatures were *almost* shown in the movie…
“There was a time when one of the producers was like, ‘No, you have to see something at some point’ and forced me to write essentially a nightmare sequence where Malorie experiences one in that house,” screenwriter Eric Heisserer said.
Sandra Bullock plays Malorie, a woman who makes it to safety in a stranger’s house by not looking at the sky. The movie star described the deleted scene in vivid detail.
“It was a green man with a horrific baby face,” Bullock told us.
“It was snake-like, and I was like, ‘I don’t want to see it when it first happens. Just bring it into the room. We’ll shoot the scene.’ I turn and he’s like this [growling at me.] It’s making me laugh. It was just a long fat baby.”
Director Susanne Bier added, “It so easily becomes funny. We actually shot that and spent a lot of energy on, but every time I saw it, I was like this is not going to be tense. It’s just going to be funny. At first, Sandy was like, ‘I don’t want to see it’ because she thought it was scary. Then it was like, ‘Don’t show it to me because [I’ll laugh].’ Every time I did it, I was like, ‘Shit, that’s a different film.’”
“I’m so sorry you had to shoot that,” Heisserer said.
They can all laugh about it now that it’s not in the film. “We’re going to deliver it to Saturday Night Live,” Bier joked. “Whatever those beings are, they tap into your deepest fear. Everybody’s deepest fear is going to be different from the other person. I think to suddenly take upon a concrete shape in order to illustrate that becomes weak. Where the conceit is really strong, then trying to illustrate it is kind of almost meaningless. So it would have been the wrong decision.”
Now, when people on the street kill themselves, they show that. A lot.
“I don’t think Netflix have any inhibitions at all,” Bier said. “I think we pretty much wanted to do it so it felt real and at the time was harrowing. But, not so that would become the essence of it. It’s pretty much done so it’s kind of this is what it would look like if they actually did what they are doing. I think if you stick to that, you get it relatively realistic.”
“Also, we’re dealing with a subject matter where it’s all about… seeing is dangerous,” Heisserer added. “I don’t know if any of us wanted a scene in this movie where we were asking the audience to turn away from the screen.”
Bird Box is out now via Netflix.