The original Cloverfield movie was veiled in secrecy leading up to its release. With its vague trailers and lack of information, the film pulled in tons of intrigue among viewers. Speculation about the giant unseen entity in the original trailers ranged from a new Godzilla movie to Voltron, and various websites sprung up theorizing about the premise long before it released. Now almost 10 years later, it seems J.J. Abrams and co. are trying the same marketing practice for Cloverfield’s sequel, “10 Cloverfield Lane“.
In an age where a big-name movie virtually can’t to be made without spewing an influx of promo pictures and teasers along the way, the mystery this movie surrounded itself in is incredibly refreshing. According to Variety, the film was made under a working title, “Valencia“, presumably to hide the fact that it was a Cloverfield sequel, meaning that even some of the crew members may not have known. 10 Cloverfield Lane dropped its trailer before Bay’s most recent film, “13 Hours”, mirroring the first movie’s tactic of debuting a surprise trailer in front of Michael Bay’s “Transformers” in 2007. The difference this time is it’s only two months away from release.
Directed by Dan Trachtenberg and allegedly in the same universe as the first movie, the film follows a young woman, played by Elizabeth Winstead, who wakes up in a stranger’s basement after a car accident. The owner of the house, played by John Goodman, tells her that he has saved her from an attack from the now inhabitable outside world.
“The idea came up a long time ago during production. We wanted to make it a blood relative of ‘Cloverfield,’” Abrams said in a statement to Collider. “The idea was developed over time. We wanted to hold back the title for as long as possible.”
It’s unclear whether the film is a sequel or a prequel. In fact, a lot of its premise is unclear. Go figure. Premièring a trailer for a movie coming out in two months is incredibly risky, but also incredibly smart. Bad Robot knows that keeping things as vague as possible is what really builds the most hype. It gets people talking – something that was made abundantly clear with the first film. 2008’s Cloverfield may not have broken records with its release, but it remains a cult classic among many and was a relatively new twist on found footage movies at the time. This new sequel will not be found footage, which may upset some fans, but I think it makes more sense to have it this way. When franchises try and make it seem like several different people all just happened to capture pivotal moments of one cohesive story while recording for fun it becomes really hard to get immersed.
As for whether or not the monster itself will be shown, we don’t know. The trailer leaves a lot up to interpretation about what exactly could ‘kill them all’ if the door is opened. It should be noted, however, that the movie is scheduled for an IMAX release at the same time as its theatrical release, suggesting there is going to be something worth seeing in a larger format. I doubt J.J. Abrams would bother setting that up to watch three people cooped up in a bunker doing puzzles.
10 Cloverfield Lane is set to open on March 11.