With a Mysterious Trailer Debut, The Cloverfield Cinematic Universe is Born

By  · Published on January 15th, 2016

Is this Cloverfield 2?

That’s the question on the minds of audiences that caught the mysterious first trailer for 10 Cloverfield Lane this evening before screenings of Michael Bay’s 13 Hours. It certainly looks like it exists within the Cloverfield cinematic universe (this is a thing as of tonight). It’s a Bad Robot movie. There’s something outside that John Goodman is trying to keep from harming himself, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher, Jr.

The truth behind this movie is coming out this evening slowly and steadily. Two years ago Dan Trachtenberg, the director behind the sensational short film Portal: No Escape, was hired to help a post-apocalyptic thriller called Valencia (aka The Cellar) for Bad Robot. The film was shot and hasn’t been heard from since.

This evening, the trailer for the newly retitled 10 Cloverfield Lane has exploded talk that this is the sequel to the 2008 viral sensation. The folks at Collider tracked down J.J. Abrams, who confirmed as much:

“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.”

So there you have it. Here’s your “blood relative” to Cloverfield. Not exactly a sequel, per se. But something in the same… Cinematic Universe (there it is again.)

The trailer isn’t online officially yet, but plenty of suspiciously high-quality phone camera versions exist and have not been pulled by Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot. It’s all part of the Cloverfield experience to watch a slightly-shakey version taken by a phone at a bad angle. It brings 2008’s wild viral marketing ride rushing back from the depths of my memory. The world of movie marketing has evolved significantly since 2008, with the speed of social media increasing significantly. There’s no way to create a slow-burn, longform marketing campaign like the ones we saw that year – for both The Dark Knight and Cloverfield. This is probably about as good as it’s going to get.

So, enjoy.

Here’s the official trailer from Paramount Pictures:

10 Cloverfield Lane will hit theaters on March 11, 2016.

Neil Miller is the persistently-bearded Publisher of Film School Rejects, Nonfics, and One Perfect Shot. He's also the Executive Producer of the One Perfect Shot TV show (currently streaming on HBO Max) and the co-host of Trial By Content on The Ringer Podcast Network. He can be found on Twitter here: @rejects (He/Him)