BAD ROBOT Went and Made a CLOVERFIELD Sequel – Right Under Our Noses

For the majority of people, their morning routine includes stretches, splashing cold water on their face, cooking eggs and reminding themselves of the will to live. When you’re a writer (particularly a UK-based one) it’s not quite that exciting, as we spend our mornings catching up on all the news and gossip from during the night – or day. Time zones are confusing.

Rarely is it worthwile, either. Often it’s just the bog standard geek coverage with perhaps an interview or two peppered in. However, there are some days where a massive story hits which instantly wakes me out of my slumber. Today was one of those days.


Look, I freaking love Cloverfield, and it sucks that most people seem to relegate it to “shitty found footage movie” without actually recognising its importance. Back when audiences sat down to watch Transformers, they were treated to a trailer for this completely out-of-the-blue monster movie from Bad Robot (which, at the time, mostly had TV shows and Mission Impossible III to its name) with a January 2008 release date. It was event cinema at its finest, and incredibly refreshing given that 2007 was a year on the cusp of the entertainment world which we know today – one where all information has to arrive at our retinas instantly, and it can become old and tired within a matter of minutes. On top of all of that, the film is just a lot of fun to watch with a unique monster design and good use of the found-footage genre. How often do we get awesome, character-driven monster movies?

Hardly ever.

So when I opened up Feedly this morning, staring at the blinding white screen through sleep-encrusted eyes, I was shocked to read that a trailer for 10 Cloverfield Lane had hit. /Film noticed that a bunch of people were tweeting about seeing the trailer before Michael Bay’s 13 Hours last night, questioning whether J.J. Abrams and co had secetly made a Cloverfield sequel – aside from the title, there’s nothing about this movie which would make you think “monsters!”

Turns out that it most certanly is a sequel – and you can even watch the trailer!

Yes, that was John Goodman of The Big Lebowski and Monster’s Inc – and that was also Mary Elizabeth Winstead of Scott Pilgrim VS The World. Not only does it have two high-profile actors in it, but it was written by Damien Chazelle, the director behind Whiplash (that little film which got J.K. Simmons an Oscar). Cloverfield had a cast of unknowns, and at the time director Matt Reeves wasn’t exactly a household name, so this is already a big contrast, making the fact that none of us knew it existed all the more astonishing.

Well, technically we did. The site did a little digging and found out that it was originally going by the title Valencia, shot in late 2014 and was a self-contained thriller. Some popular speculation at the moment is that that’s what the movie originally was, however Chazelle’s allegedly-“extensive rewrite” moulded it into a Cloverfield sequel.

“Her captor, a doomsday prepper, tells her he saved her life and that there has been a terrible chemical attack that has left the outside uninhabitable. She does not know what to believe and as tensions rise, she decides she must escape, regardless of the terrors that await outside.”

It sounds a neat concept as-is (Room 2, anyone?), so I’ll be interested to find out what exactly the thought process was behind reconfiguring it into a Cloverfield “blood relative,” as producer J.J. Abrams described to Collider.

“The idea came up a long time ago during production. 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.”

They cetainly did – it comes out in less than two months: 11th March.

10 Cloverfield Lane

As always with the bastards at Bad Robot, we’re left with more questions than answers.

  • What’s with the title? The origins of the name was never explained in the first movie – perhaps Cloverfield is an actual street name and it somehow relates to the main monster attack, although that sounds like quite a daunting plot for a self-contained thriller.
  • Why is it a “blood relative? It’s certainly a more interesting description than “sequel,” but it does make me wonder whether it’s set after, before or during the events of the first movie. However, I have a feeling none of that necessarily matters. It’s set in a world which saw a giant alien monster attack New York out of nowhere, and it’s just another story about said event.
  • Someone get me a gif of John Goodman being sexually provocative towards a stereo – and a latte.

Since we have less than two months to wait, expect a lot more information to start pouring out regarding 10 Cloverfield Lane.