Thanks to the industry buzz around V/H/S, the Radio Silence crew was suddenly hot in Hollywood. Meetings with big-wigs were scheduled. Hands were shook. Babies were kissed. Yet their dreams of joining the big leagues didn't materialize until they received the script for Devil's Due, a found-footage project that not so subtlety pulled inspiration from Roman Polanski's classic Rosemary's Baby.
Instead of a happily married couple moving to New York City, Devil's Due centers on newlyweds Zach (Zach Gilford) and Samantha (Allison Miller), whose honeymoon goes south after a few too many drinks turns one night into a forgotten blur. Back home, though, Samantha finds out that she's pregnant, but, like Mia Farrow's Rosemary Woodhouse before her, her baby's daddy isn't the man she married. He comes from a much hotter place of eternal damnation.
Gillett: V/H/S premiered in January, and then it was basically nine months of free water, validated parking, and meetings with producers and executives that all ended with, "OK, it was nice to meet you! We'd love to work on something with you guys someday." But then we'd never hear from them again.
Bettinelli-Olpin: We actually started working on a new Amityville Horror project with [fellow V/H/S co-director] David Bruckner for the Weinsteins, and we were holed up writing that for a few months. Then, we got another call from [producer] John Davis while in the parking lot of a burrito spot. Which makes me think, all of our biggest moments have happened in burrito spot parking lots. [Laughs.] We should move into a burrito parking lot.
Gillett: Before John called, it had dawned on us that the year before Sundance, we were constantly making web videos and working, but a year after Sundance, we hadn't made anything. But it was V/H/S that got us this job. John has such a small attention span, one of his assistants told him to sit down and watch V/H/S, and our segment specifically, and that we'd be a cool choice to direct Devil's Due. Within five minutes, apparently, he agreed and called us. The call was literally him saying, "Guys, I'm on vacation, but I want you to do my next movie." And then IMDB-searched for "John Davis" and saw his credentials, and were like, "Holy shit! Predator! This will be his 91st movie! Holy shit!"
In those meetings we'd been having, we were constantly getting pitched haunted house projects, because of our V/H/S segment. That's how Amityville came to us, too. It was also all found-footage stuff being sent our way. For a short time, actually, so we'd have something to work on, we were independently going to make a feature-length version of the V/H/S segment.
But when Devil's Due came our way, it was really exciting. It was the love story that really sold us. Usually in found-footage, point-of-view movies, you end up having more conversations about why the camera keeps being used than about the characters, but this one was about the characters from the very beginning. We certainly still needed to have those conversations about how we'd solve the fucking camera issue, but from the start it was about two people in love who want things in life but they're also at that stage where they're wondering if they'll be good parents and good in marriage, and those were questions we could all relate to. It felt unique. There's more to this movie than just scary found-footage stuff.
Bettinelli-Olpin: At first, we'd been hoping to not have to do a found-footage project, but this particular movie solved the camera problem and was about the characters, so we couldn't pass it up.