J.J. Abrams, the infamously tight-lipped writer-director-producer behind such films as STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, SUPER 8, and STAR TREK, is preparing to launch his latest production 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE. Abrams produced the 2008 surprise hit CLOVERFIELD, and so he's the right man to field questions about this follow-up.
Among the topics discussed, in his chat with Fandango, was how direct of a follow-up 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE is. Is this, basically, CLOVERFIELD 2? "This movie is very purposefully not called Cloverfield 2, because it’s not Cloverfield 2,” Abrams said. He also added that “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."
Okay, so it's not a sequel but it's connected. Abrams continued to elaborate on the connections by saying "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"
10 CLOVERFIELD LANE came out of nowhere when a trailer just suddenly dropped, announcing that the film would be arriving only two months later. "We very purposely kept quiet. We thought that instead of putting something out a year or nine months in advance, let’s try something else. It wasn’t to save marketing money – we thought if we released a trailer for a movie no one’s heard of, we were hoping we’d have the same reaction we ourselves would have, which is that thrill of the unexpected present under the tree -- that unexpected fun surprise," Abrams said, of the film's unique reveal.
Abrams also implied that one of the reasons that it's not a direct sequel is that there's something larger at play. While the producers are only thinking one film at a time, they definitely seem to have something else up their sleeves, and Abrams described how they decided to expand the canvas out of necessity.
"We had so much fun making Cloverfield that when we were done, we felt like we were done with that movie. And there were a lot of ideas [for a follow-up] – at one point there was this really big idea for doing three different things at once. A lot of things were thrown around. But we now live in that post-Godzilla, post-Pacific Rim era where those movies have been made, so what would we do?
I was actually talking to Drew [Goddard] last week about what would happen if we continued that specific story [as told in the first Cloverfield], and there are some fun ideas, but still not 'the thing.' There’s a reason why the movie we’re talking about right now isn’t Cloverfield 2, but something else entirely.
But I will say that there is something larger at play that if we’re lucky enough to get to do I think could result in something pretty cool."
He also touched on the idea of monsters. The one featured in the original CLOVERFIELD will not factor into this one, but Abrams says there will be an exploration of monsters. "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,” he revealed. “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."
10 CLOVERFIELD LANE will come out, and answer all of your questions, on March 11.