J.J.’s done it again. Seemingly out of nowhere comes some thing; it’s a new Bad Robot-produced film titled 10 Cloverfield Lane. When I first stumbled upon this deliciously mysterious teaser trailer I thought to myself along with everybody else, “IT’S A SEQUEL TO J.J.’s MONSTER MOVIE CLOVERFIELD!” Not quite. Though the word “Cloverfield” is in the title and the teaser certainly alludes to some thing scary existing in the outside world, the Star Wars director released the following statement to Collider that attempts to clear that up:
“The idea came up a long time ago during production,” explained Abrams. “We wanted to make it a blood relative of Cloverfield. The idea was developed over time. We wanted to hold back the title for as long as possible.”
In a nutshell, writers Josh Campbell and Matt Stuecken collaborated on penning a script a few years back tentatively titled The Cellar. It followed a woman who, in the aftermath of surviving a car wreck, finds herself trapped underground in a bomb shelter with a man who claims to have saved her life from a nuclear attack that destroyed the surrounding area above ground. Nuclear attack or… the Cloverfield monster! J.J. and his Bad Robot production house got involved with The Cellar when Paramount bought the script. The movie’s code name changed to Valencia to keep a lid on J.J.’s Cloverfield connection plans that apparently started to brew shortly after he signed on to executive produce it. It’s massively impressive how Paramount & Bad Robot were able to keep all of this a secret until the trailer dropped.
The teaser for 10 Cloverfield Lane (embedded after the break) first surfaced in front of Michael Bay’s Benghazi film 13 Hours, in an eerily similar fashion to the way Cloverfield‘s found-footage trailer debuted in theatres with Bay’s Transformers in 2008. It stars John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), and John Gallagher, Jr. (The Newsroom). Abrams produces with Lindsey Weber. Dan Trachtenberg, the massive talent behind the viral short film Portal: No Escape, makes his directorial debut. Despite their enthusiasm for making a direct Cloverfield sequel at some point, the original movie’s director Matt Reeves and writer Drew Goddard are not involved in this project.
I’ve been waiting for a true sequel to Cloverfield ever since I walked out of theatre in 2008 and got lost down the rabbit hole online trying to piece together clues pertaining to The Monster’s origins. Do Slusho and Tagruato ring any bells? Anyway. I find this whole “blood relative” idea to be incredibly intriguing. New survivors, new location (look at the poster pasted above; I don’t think we’re in New York City), new shooting style (it appears as though Trachtenberg is ditching Reeve’s found-footage shaky cam presentation here). The idea that 10 Cloverfield Lane is not a direct sequel to the original but rather set in the same universe as it offers the creative team a new avenue to explore the intensity of it all. If this teaser is any indication of what to expect, we are going to be getting an intimate character piece dealing with themes of trust and manipulation.
“Don’t open the door! You’re going to get all of us killed!” screams Goodman’s character as Winstead’s female protagonist unlocks the bunker’s door. What does she see? A nuclear wasteland? The Monster? Some thing entirely new? “Monsters come in many forms,” reads the poster’s tagline. The Mystery Box just arrived on your doorstep.
10 Cloverfield Lane opens March 11, 2016. READ MORE Surprise! Bad Robot presents ’10 Cloverfield Lane’, a “blood relative” to 2008’s found-footage monster movie (Teaser inside)