Last month, in the wake of the massive global success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, most believed director J.J. Abrams would be off somewhere disappearing for a few months, finally relaxing after two years of undoubtedly the most stressful filmmaking of his career. But no, Abrams wasn’t keen to just sit back and take it easy for a while—he had an ace up his sleeve. Out of nowhere, Paramount dropped the trailer for 10 Cloverfield Lane last month, finally announcing the arrival of the long-awaited Cloverfield sequel—or was it?
The exact nature of 10 Cloverfield Lane’s relationship to the Matt Reeves-directed 2008 film remains, unsurprisingly, a mystery, with Abrams only offering that the new film is a “blood relative” to the found footage monster pic. But if Abrams has his way, 10 Cloverfield Lane won’t be the end of the line as far as the franchise (for lack of a better word) is concerned.
Speaking with EW, Abrams declined to elaborate on 10 Cloverfield Lane’s relationship to Cloverfield, but he did reveal they have an idea for a third film that they’d like to see happen if 10 Cloverfield Lane is a success:
“I think [categorizing them] would be presumptuous, because we’re talking about this movie and comparing it to Cloverfield, but I would be lying if I didn’t say there was something else that, if we’re lucky enough to do it, could be really cool that connects some stories.”
Rumors have swirled that the basic conceit for 10 Cloverfield Lane is to set up a Twilight Zone-esque series, in which various different kinds of stories could be told within a similar tonal universe. Or it’s possible that 10 Cloverfield Lane is a secret prequel or sequel to Cloverfield, as it revolves around a woman (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who wakes up to find herself in an underground bunker with two men (John Goodman and John Gallagher Jr.) who claim to have saved her from an unknown menace outside. Is it the Cloverfield monster? Are these the survivors of the attack on New York? These are tantalizing questions that fans are eager to see answered.
So if 10 Cloverfield Lane is a hit—and judging by the fan interest, it very well could be—Abrams hopes to produce another Cloverfield movie:
“This is just this movie, and it’s only two films that we’re talking about right now. There is something else that we’d like to do, and hopefully we’ll get a shot.”
Dan Trachtenberg directed 10 Cloverfield Lane on a very modest budget, with a limited cast, so one imagines the overhead on these types of films isn’t huge. Meaning it’s possible Paramount and Abrams (as producer) could continue making more Cloverfield movies on smaller budgets with big concepts, which equals big profits if the films hit big at the box office. And bringing in talented young filmmakers to take the helm of these films is another smart route, so all in all, I’d definitely be game to see Abrams continue expanding this Cloverfield universe.
First, though, there’s the matter of find out just what 10 Cloverfield Lane is. Luckily we don’t have long to wait—the film hits theaters on March 11th.