After Cloverfield was released in 2008, fans of the giant monster movie were craving more. Cloverfield 2 was thought to be in development for years, but then a trailer for 10 Cloverfield Lane secretly dropped in front of the film 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi. 10 Cloverfield Lane was met with positive reactions soon after its release despite the film not being a true sequel to Cloverfield.
The film saw a young woman named Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) become trapped in an underground bunker after Howard Stambler (John Goodman) “rescues” her from a chemical attack. The film has been out for a few years, but there are still some things you might not know about the movie. Here are 10 BTS Facts About 10 Cloverfield Lane.
10 J.J. Abrams Didn’t Want It To Be A True Sequel
Since J.J. Abrams' creature feature did so well in 2008, Cloverfield quickly became one of the most popular movies he produced. In the featurette “End of Story,” Abrams explained that after Cloverfield’s release, any interview he did or convention he went to people asked him about Cloverfield 2.
Despite there being a clear longing for information on what happened after the New York attack, Abrams didn’t want 10 Cloverfield Lane to be a true sequel. Instead of rehashing a similar story to the first film, he wanted to do something different that didn’t feel like it was forcing any Cloverfield connections.
9 The Film Was Mainly Shot In Order
It’s no surprise to most people that films aren’t usually shot in the order of continuity. It makes much more sense to film all of the scenes at one location before moving on to the next. Since 10 Cloverfield Lane mainly takes place in an underground bunker, the crew had the benefit of being able to film the movie in story order.
Dan Trachtenberg revealed this in the special feature “Bunker Mentality” on the 10 Cloverfield Lane Blu-Ray. Trachtenberg revealed that most of the movie was filmed in order, while scenes like the 10 Cloverfield Lane mailbox being run down had to be added in post.
8 The Hazmat Suit Wasn’t Easy To Make
After Michelle and Emitt discover that Howard may not be telling the truth about everything that has gone down, Michelle begins building a hazmat suit to escape. She uses the shower curtain that Howard had recently thrown away as protection in case there actually was a chemical attack. While Michelle had a relatively easy time putting it together, that wasn’t quite true for the costume department.
In the Blu-ray featurette “Duck And Cover,” costume designer Meagan Luster revealed that they originally tried to make the costume from an actual shower curtain, but the material didn't conform well to Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s body. Eventually, the team brought in specialty costume designer Doug Stewart and the team found a plastic material that looked like a shower curtain but still fit the actress well.
7 They Tried To Use A Lot Of Practical Effects
Since the majority of the film takes place in an underground bunker, there weren’t a lot of special effects needed for the bulk of the film. That being said, the climax of the film when Michelle discovers the aliens did require a lot of special effects. While the aliens are all CGI, they did try to use a lot of practical special effects. Both the beginning car crash and the ending scene where the truck is lifted by the alien were both created using a combination of CGI and practical effects.
For example, when Michelle’s car spins around and flips over during the car crash, they actually cut a car in half and attached it to a hydraulic motor to spin it around. According to the featurette “Spin-Off,” a rig was also built by the special effects department to make it seem like the car was being lifted into the air, which special effects supervisors Matt Kutcher and Matt Kutcher Jr. compared to a Disneyland ride.
6 Many Different Animal Noises Were Used For The Alien’s Roar
While many people wanted to see Clover come back in 10 Cloverfield Lane, unfortunately, they didn’t get their wish. Instead, a new species of aliens were introduced, including Space Worms and an alien spaceship. Robby Stambler (the supervising sound editor) created the roars and screeches for both of these creatures, and they are actually comprised of several different animal noises.
In the featurette “Kelvin Optical,” Stambler revealed that animals such as whales bats, and dolphins were all used for these sound effects, as well as packing tape for the space worm.
5 The Film Wasn’t Originally A Cloverfield Movie
Before The Cloverfield Paradox attempted to connect the first two films, 10 Cloverfield Lane temporarily turned the franchise into an anthology series. The sequel shares little to no connections to the first film besides having “Cloverfield” in the title, but that’s because the film wasn’t originally a Cloverfield movie. The film was first called The Cellar and written by Josh Campbell and Matt Stuecken.
Throughout the development of the film, the movie went through various script changes, but the ending was apparently always the same. Despite the introduction of the aliens seeming like a massive tonal shift, Dan Trachtenberg explained that “the beginning middle and end of it was all there in the first script that I read.”
4 10 Cloverfield Lane Had Yet Another Massive ARG
After fans got into the alternate reality game (ARG) for the first Cloverfield, many were itching for the ARG to begin for 10 Cloverfield Lane. Just like the first film, 10 Cloverfield Lane had a massive ARG that used the real world to give people clues and hints about the sequel.
After cracking into the website 'funandprettythings.com,' fans discovered secret messages that Howard wrote to his daughter Megan urging her to come to stay with him or at least take shelter before the chemical attack. Someone at Bad Robot even buried a survival kit in a farm in Louisiana, which included a flash drive with audio files on it. Say what you will about the Cloverfield series, but Bad Robot and Paramount sure do know how to market a film.
3 The Working Title “Valencia” Came From A Line In The Script
After the title of the film was changed from The Cellar to 10 Cloverfield Lane, a working title was obviously needed. The first Cloverfield movie was one of the most (if not THE most) secretive movies created by Bad Robot, so a project that was essentially a spiritual successor obviously needed to be kept under wraps.
The working title for 10 Cloverfield Lane was Valencia, which actually came from a line in the script. Although it didn’t make it into the final cut of the movie, Howard was originally going to give a speech at the dinner scene talking about the siege of Valencia. Unfortunately, the monologue was cut from the film.
2 The Cellar Was Originally Being Made By Insurge Pictures
After Josh Campbell and Matt Stueckeen started floating their script for The Cellar around, it was picked up by Paramount Pictures for their Insurge Pictures branch. This branch of Paramount Pictures was a company that made scripts that required a very low budget.
Early reports claimed the budget was being kept under $5 million (like many of Insurge Pictures previous films), which supports the claim that the ending was changed at some point since the alien battle likely required additional funds. Before the film was released, Insurge Pictures was dismantled and 10 Cloverfield Lane moved to Insurge’s parent company (Paramount Pictures).
1 Howard Is A Tagruato Employee
Before the Tagruato website was updated for The Cloverfield Paradox, it could still be explored by fans. In the early stages of the 10 Cloverfield Lane ARG, Howard Stambler’s picture popped up on the website under the employee of the month page. The website revealed that Howard was a Telemetry Analyst for Bold Futura; a subsidiary of Tagruato that dealt with advanced technology for the military and space exploration.
The short bio on the employee of the month page for Howard reads, “Howard will celebrate his seven-year anniversary with Bold Futura in the fall. This month, Howard’s drive, commitment and refusal to accept easy answers resulted in a significant breakthrough diagnosing transmission complications with two of our governmental clients’ orbiting satellites."