As with the original Cloverfield marketing, the teasers for 10 Cloverfield Lane have kept things relatively cryptic, by modern Hollywood standards. The first trailer for the film suggested that 10 Cloverfield Lane wouldn’t necessarily be about the destruction that an enormous extra-terrestrial could deliver onto a highly-populated city; instead, teasing the psychological toll of surviving in a world that is reeling from devastation and fear.
Much like the first trailer, the new sneak peek, courtesy of Super Bowl 50, follows a similar approach – holding back form showing the monster(s) that have the film’s protagonists hiding in an underground bunker – but asserting that some “thing” is coming.
The new teaser is more focused on the tense relationship between Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Goodman – and provides a bit more backstory for Winstead’s character. The preview doesn’t go into explicit detail, and given that producer J.J. Abrams enjoys messing with viewers, there’s no way of knowing for sure if the events depicted in the Super Bowl spot are even presented chronologically.
However, assuming the order of events in the trailer mirrors the movie – this new sneak peek seems to suggest that Winstead is involved in a car wreck early-on in the film, only to be rescued by Goodman’s apocalypse-preparing character, who brings her into his underground security bunker for safe-keeping. Still, with nothing more than a bunker porthole to see above ground, Winstead is reluctant to stick it out with her rescuer and the bunker’s other occupant (played by John Gallagher, Jr.) – fearful that Goodman might actually be an unhinged and paranoid nutcase.
Scenes above ground suggest Winstead will eventually journey back to surface level – where some “thing” approaches from behind a dilapidated house. Whether or not that “thing” is Cloverfield‘s original monster or an entirely different threat, remains to be seen but – with Abrams and director Dan Trachtenberg chumming the waters as buzz for a long-awaited Cloverfield follow-up builds, they’d better be prepared to offer something equally exciting, even if the film isn’t a direct continuation.
After all, secrecy and exploiting expectation has spelled success and trouble for J.J. Abrams in the past – especially when it came to the “secret” of Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness. The filmmaker has since admitted the attempt at keeping Khan a secret actually hurt the movie – and, given the director’s careful management of expectations and marketing during the run-up to Star Wars 7, there’s reason to believe Abrams has learned from past mistakes.
That’s all to say, it’s hard to imagine that Abrams and Trachtenberg would tease a Cloverfield sequel, and get fans excited about the possibilities, if they weren’t going to deliver a product that could live up to the cryptic mystery. Considering the more rural backdrop seen in the teasers, compared to the original movie’s New York City setting, it’s likely the filmmakers are not making a film as “big” as its predecessor, but could still have conceived a worthy and satisfying follow-up. After all, the absence of found-footage cinematography indicates that 10 Cloverfield Lane isn’t necessarily a direct continuation and is more of a spiritual successor, set in the same world and events as its predecessor.
Will a smaller but equally thrilling Cloverfield film be enough for fans that have waited an entire decade for Cloverfield 2?
10 Cloverfield Lane opens in theaters March 11, 2016.