10 Cloverfield Lane trailer: JJ Abrams' latest project could either be a cashgrab or a masterstroke

Harsh Pareek

Jan 19, 2016 12:00:24 IST

To say JJ Abrams has been dominating entertainment news worldwide would be an understatement.

The Hollywood director, who just last month managed to successfully pull off one of the most daunting tasks in cinematic history, has once again managed to force the internet into a debate arguably even more convoluted than Rey's origins in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Over the past week Abrams's production house Bad Robot released a trailer for a movie titled 10 Cloverfield Lane.

As expected, the connection was drawn immediately.

In January 2008, when Cloverfield hit the the big screen, the found footage monster horror movie immediately created a massive buzz and was well received by the critics.

The original idea for the movie came from Abrams himself who went on to produce it. Starring newcomers and made with a budget of $25 million, the film went on to make over $170 million.

Ever since, there's been talk about a sequel, and now we have another film with 'Cloverfield' in the title.

But as the initial excitement over the new trailer wore off, many started to question the origins and the intent of the project itself. It is still unclear if the upcoming movie is even a "proper" sequel to Cloverfield.

Everyone's surprise about the fact that Abrams even managed to work on the project (keep in mind the new Star Wars and numerous other projects he's been working on), and at the same time managed to keep it under wraps, soon raised red flags.

As the buzz around the trailer gained some momentum on the social media, Abrams issued a statement 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.

It is unclear what he means by a "blood relative of Cloverfield".

The film follows a young woman (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), who after waking up from a car accident, finds herself in the basement of a man (John Goodman) who says he's saved her life from a chemical attack that has left the outside uninhabitable. Directed by Dan Trachtenberg (of Portal: No Escape short fame), the film also stars John Gallagher Jr.

John Campbell and Matt Stuecken initially wrote the "ultra-low" budget spec-script titled The Cellar back in 2012 and went under production under the name Veronica.

Back then, when Winstead's casting was announced, Variety shared the following plot details:

The majority of the movie takes place in an underground cellar, and revolves around a young woman who wakes up in the cellar after a severe car accident and fears she has been abducted. 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.

The movie was picked up by Paramount's Insurge Pictures that works with micro-budget movies (with budgets as low as $5 million).

Following some re-writes, the movie went into production with Bad Robots.

The sequences of events thus raises some questions:

-Was the movie originally intended to be a sequel to Cloverfield, or was that aspect integrated at a later stage to just make money off the original's success? (This might explain how the movie managed to remain a secret even with Abrams' involvement.)

-And if above is the case, how successful can the movie be once it has dropped the 'found-footage' style of direction?

-If the movie is still a low budget production, will we get to see the monsters as in Cloverfield, or will it be a closed room (basement) drama or thriller? (The trailer sure does points to the latter.)

The trailer raises many questions but at least we won't have to wait long for the answers. The movie hits the theaters on 11 March this year.

Watch the super-tense trailer below:

Updated Date: Jan 19, 2016 13:31:18 IST