Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for No One Will Save You
The Big Picture
- No One Will Save You is a film that surprises audiences with its lack of dialogue, a bold choice that came to the director organically during the writing process.
- Despite the absence of dialogue, the director hopes that the film’s standout element will be Kaitlyn Dever’s exceptional performance rather than the lack of talking.
- The studio supported the director’s decision to exclude dialogue from the film, as they knew about it from the start and believed in the overall package, which included the script and the director themselves.
Something that becomes harder and harder in the age of the internet is preserving the surprises of a film before everyone gets the chance to see it, and Brian Duffield’s No One Will Save You had a pretty big one to keep. As fans learned at advance screenings ahead of the film’s premiere on Hulu, the chilling alien-encounter feature starring the wildly-talented Kaitlyn Dever has absolutely no dialogue. Yes, you read that right: no dialogue whatsoever. In an interview with Collider’s Steve Weintraub, who also hosted a screening of the film, Duffield broke down the decision to go with such a bold storytelling choice.
The decision, as he told Weintraub, wasn’t one he had initially set out to make, but instead was something that came to him organically through the writing process, calling it a “surprise”:
“I think it was always an idea that I thought would be cool. But I didn’t think about it for this movie until, there’s a scene that I always knew I was gonna write where where Brynn looks for help at a police station. I always knew how that scene was going to wind up, and that scene didn’t have dialogue. And then I got to that point in the writing process, and I don’t outline when I write, I just kind of go and, and see where the winds take me, and I kind of know ideas of where I will wind up. And I got to that point and I was just very surprised at where we were at. And then I thought that was a good time, where it was like an Easter egg more than a feature. It kind of stemmed out of character and out of obstacle, but it wasn’t a selling point. It wasn’t why I set out to do it. And then it just felt like a cool little bit of whipped cream on it as opposed to the main event.”
As surprising as it is for audiences to experience a film like this with no dialogue, Duffield remains hopeful that this will only be seen as one element of the movie, rather than the part that dominates the conversation, adding:
“My goal was always that it wasn’t the coolest thing about the movie, and that it’s a cool part of the movie. But you know, we’re able to pull it off because we have a lead performance that’s absurdly good. For me it’s more about Dever being an insane actress than it is about no talking or whatever.”
Fortunately for Duffield, the studio unexpectedly didn’t push back on his choice, with the director saying they knew what they were getting into from the beginning:
“We went on to sell it as a package. So it was a script, plus myself as a director plus Kaitlyn [Dever]. It was always what they knew, getting into it. And it was, it was never like a contractual “This is the thing,” and it was always kind of an unspoken thing. Like if we need it, we will use it. But I talked so much more about so many other parts of the movie than that element. So the surprising thing was that it really did not ever feel that different.”
What Is ‘No One Will Save You’ About?
Not much is known about the plot of No One Will Save You, except that it follows Brynn Adams (Dever), a lonely young woman who comes face to face with a group of aliens, upending her isolated, mundane existence. Tim White, Trevor White, Allan Mandelbaum, and Duffield produce the film, while Dever and Joshua Throne serve as executive producers, with Joseph Trapanese composing the score.
No One Will Save You is now streaming on Hulu. Look for more from our exclusive interview with Duffield soon.