The film that established J.J. Abrams' "mystery box" approach to secrecy was 2008's Cloverfield, the acclaimed monster movie that has been the subject of sequel rumors for years. With the arrival of 10 Cloverfield Lane, the connections between the two films, or at least the assumed connections seen in the trailers, would suggest it is a true follow-up to the original found footage thriller. But Abrams, who has consistently called the film a "blood relative", is downplaying expectations by saying it isn't a sequel at all. Abrams tells EW...
“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.”
The easy guess based on what we've seen of Dan Trachtenberg's film, is that the story takes place during the events of Cloverfield. But it would be wrong even to assume that much, apparently...
“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.”
So what kind of monsters will there be? Is it the same Cloverfield creature or something else entirely?
“The story of this movie – and it came to us originally as a spec that was very different in a lot of ways and an unrelated thing altogether – is definitely about different kinds of monsters. And while the Cloverfield monster isn’t in this movie, there’s a new monster and there’s something else that happens… but I don’t want to ruin the ending.”
Sounds like we can expect some kind of twist ending, a shocking reveal that puts everything into place. But it also seems as if we shouldn't expect a monster in the most obvious meaning of the word. What we do know is that the story centers on a woman (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who survives a car accident and wakes up in the underground bunker of a survivalist (John Goodman) claiming he saved her from an attack that has destroyed the outside world. John Gallagher Jr. co-stars, and with three characters stuck in a room together it could be a nice set up for the level of tension that could create monsters of a more human variety.
As for whether there will be a third movie if this one is a success, Abrams, who says there is a "larger conceit" in play, is being cautious in confirming anything.
“I think that would be presumptuous, because we’re talking about this movie and comparing it to ‘Cloverfield,’ but I would be lying if I didn’t say there was something else that, if we’re lucky enough to do it, could be really cool that connects some stories.“This is just this movie, and it’s only two films that we’re talking about right now. There is something else that we’d like to do, and hopefully we’ll get a shot.”
10 Cloverfield Lane opens March 11th.