J.J. Abrams Wants to Manage Your ‘10 Cloverfield Lane’ Expectations
By dubbing their latest sci-fi thriller 10 Cloverfield Lane, Bad Robot has done two things: They’ve made sure that fans will flock to see this thing, but they’ve also set expectations a bit high for a film that wasn’t originally connected to Cloverfield. And although J.J. Abrams says that this movie is merely a “blood relative,” the marketing isn’t doing anything to distinguish 10 Cloverfield Lane from its (sorta-kinda) predecessor. But Abrams would still really, really like you to know that these movies are not as related as the title would blatantly suggest.
Yesterday Abrams revealed that he’s already got an idea for a third Cloverfield movie — a notion that, again, doesn’t do much to dispel the idea that these are sequels to Matt Reeves’ hit film. But here’s the thing: That Cloverfield branding has made expectations impossible to manage, no matter how hard Abrams continues to try and manage them, as he does in an interview with Fandango:
This movie is very purposefully not called Cloverfield 2, because it’s not Cloverfield 2. The association is clear and there are multiple connections – and there is a bigger idea at play for us with these movies and this connection.
New game! Drink every time Abrams says “connection,” and you’ll be wasted by the time you finish reading his response when asked if 10 Cloverfield Lane takes place during the events of Cloverfield:
No it doesn’t, but there’s a larger thing at play with these connections. And the fun of it is that some of these connections – and there’s a lot of them – are not the kind of connections you might think. So if you’re approaching it as a literal sequel, you’ll be surprised to see what this movie is. But while it’s not what you might expect from a movie that has the name ‘Cloverfield’ in it, I think you’ll find that you’ll understand the connection when you see the whole thing.
He goes on to concede that this new film wasn’t originally related to Cloverfield in any way, which is something we already knew. Director Dan Trachtenberg’s feature debut was conceived as a simple thriller titled Valencia, which was filmed a couple of years ago and sat on a shelf at Bad Robot for the last year — presumably until someone was struck with the brilliant idea to reshoot some of it and establish a connection (drink!) to Cloverfield.
Abrams addresses this and also says that, “while the Cloverfield monster isn’t in this movie, there’s a new monster and there’s something else that happens,” and, he cryptically adds, “but I don’t want to ruin the ending.”
The new monster he’s referring to is likely John Goodman’s character, the doomsday prepper who holds Mary Elizabeth Winstead hostage in his bunker under the assertion that there is something apocalyptic happening aboveground. But the trailers indicate that there’s another monster (or monsters) lurking outside. We’ll find out when 10 Cloverfield Lane hits theaters on March 11.