10 CLOVERFIELD LANE Poster: "Monsters Come In Many Forms"

Paramount Pictures has released the first poster for Bad Robot's new film 10 Cloverfield Lane. This is the same project that's been referred to at various times as The Cellar and Valencia throughout its development, which centers on a young woman (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) trapped in an underground bunker. Dan Trachtenberg is directing, and J.J. Abrams is producing. You can (and should) watch the first trailer right here.

We'd never heard anything before about this project being associated with Matt Reeves' 2008 film Cloverfield, so I'm going to speculate for a second: I wonder if this movie maybe wasn't testing as well as Bad Robot hoped, so they decided to market it as a Cloverfield sequel in order to drum up more interest. If so, it worked: I was interested in the movie before, but I'm certainly more excited about it knowing that it has Cloverfield in the title, and I'm excited to see whether there's actually a direct connection to that movie, or if, as Abrams himself has said, it's simply a "blood relative" to the original. I've seen a lot of speculation that the word Cloverfield (which comes from the Santa Monica street on which the Bad Robot offices are located) could simply be Bad Robot's umbrella title for low-budget mystery projects, so the alien from Cloverfield might not be what Winstead's character sees outside.

The tagline — "monsters come in many forms" — may be a gentle way of setting expectations early that we won't see the alien from the first movie, but if that's the case, I can imagine a lot of people being disappointed. The way the trailer displays the title certainly indicates that Bad Robot and Paramount are absolutely trying to play up the connection between the two, so it remains to be seen how it'll all play out.

Either way, I haven't felt that sense of confusion and excitement in a long time, and it's cool that Abrams and his team are still able to organize last-second surprises even for people who have been following the development of all of Bad Robot's projects for years. One final thing worth noting: Whiplash writer/director Damien Chazelle has a co-writing credit on 10 Cloverfield Lane, and back when it was called Valencia, he wasn't mentioned in any of the press releases. I wonder if he's the guy they brought in to create the connective tissue between what was originally just slated to be a normal movie and the 2008 hand-held disaster film.

I hope there are a bunch of movies that take place in that same world, telling different stories about different people reacting across the world to the events in New York. I remember hearing after the first one came out that there might be a sequel involving another group of people running through New York with their own hand-held camera, and they might briefly pass Rob, Hud, Marlena, and the rest of the crew without really interacting with them. I thought that would be a cool way to make a sequel, but this (if it actually does take place in the same world after those events occur) looks even better.

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