Like the original movie's monster, the trailer for 10 Cloverfield Lane hit the public with no warning. The teaser clip for the J.J. Abrams-produced sci-fi thriller surprised moviegoers who'd gone to see Michael Bay's Benghazi action epic 13 Hours, and made the rounds on the internet soon after. Abrams' Bad Robot Productions maintained the air of secrecy around 10 Cloverfield Lane by developing it under different titles, from Valencia to The Cellar , and the mystery is paying off. I had a great time seeing the original Cloverfield in theaters back in 2008, even if the found-footage monster movie set off my motion sickness, so I, and many others, are thrilled that it's back in some form. But seeing as Abrams is hesitant to even talk about this movie,; does that mean any possible sequel to 10 Cloverfield Lane is unlikely to happen?
Actually, a Cloverfield trilogy is closer to reality than you might think. And just a few months ago, only a select few people knew that a second film was even on its way. Personally, I'm impressed. Keeping anything a secret in 2016 — especially a major release — had seemed like something only a super human like Beyoncé could do. But Bad Robot succeeded in keeping its cards close. Entertainment Weekly reported that co-stars John Gallagher Jr. and Mary Elizabeth Winstead weren't even fully briefed until absolutely necessary. Gallagher learned about the Cloverfield association while they were shooting, and Winstead didn't find out the title until the actual day the trailer debuted.
Beyond the title, the obvious connections between Cloverfield and this follow-up in its trailers are few. There's no head-on sighting of the Cloverfield monster (Clovie, I like to call her.), just Gallagher, Winstead, and John Goodman, holed up in an underground bunker, tension within and something big without. Abrams told Fandango, "the Cloverfield monster isn’t in this movie," but that there will be a new creature on the loose. "So if you’re approaching it as a literal sequel," Abrams said, "you’ll be surprised to see what this movie is." Is Abrams setting up a monster movie anthology franchise? TV has certainly embraced the idea of wiping the slate clean after each season with anthology series like True Detective and American Horror Story refreshing as they go. A Cloverfield series might carry over themes and visual identity rather than plot and characters.
A broad base for the franchise leaves plenty of room for more films. (And — unlike in the other properties he's been steward of, including Star Wars, Star Trek, and Mission: Impossible — Abrams could kill off the entire ensemble by the credits if he felt like it.) Abrams recently gave Cloverfield fans reason to be cautiously optimistic about more films. "This is just this movie, and it’s only two films that we’re talking about right now," he told Entertainment Weekly. "There is something else that we’d like to do, and hopefully we’ll get a shot." Hopefully, indeed. Even if another Cloverfield film takes another eight years, I'll be waiting to be pleasantly surprised.
Image: Paramount Pictures