JJ Abrams not only managed to make a sequel to Cloverfield while also working on, you know, just a few other projects including a certain big-name sequel, he managed to do so entirely in secret. The teaser trailer for 10 Cloverfield Lane quietly started showing in theaters this week and was released online Friday, to the Internet's vast surprise, Wired reports. (Sample tweet: "JJ ABRAMS SECRETLY MADE A SEQUEL TO CLOVERFIELD AND RELEASED THE TRAILER WHEN NO ONE WAS LOOKING. THIS IS NOT A DRILL!!!") The plot of Cloverfield, a "faux-found-footage" film Abrams made in 2008 about the aftermath of a monster attack on New York City, was also cloaked in secrecy, prompting people to search for clues as to what the heck it was about before it was released, and it looks like the same type of questions will be asked about this follow-up. As Collider notes, news of the film broke in 2014, but back then no one knew it was a Cloverfield sequel.
At the time, it was referred to as a post-apocalyptic thriller called Valencia or The Cellar. "We wanted to make it a blood relative of Cloverfield," Abrams tells Collider. "The idea was developed over time. We wanted to hold back the title for as long as possible." The trailer shows three characters, played by John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and John Gallagher, Jr., hanging out in an underground bunker casually and pleasantly until things start getting weird: rumbling, a gun, handcuffs, tense looks on everyone's faces, a fire, a fight, Goodman begging Winstead not to go outside, the tagline "Something's coming" ... you get the idea. IMDB's plot description: "Waking up from a car accident, a young woman finds herself in the basement of a man who says he's saved her life from a chemical attack that has left the outside uninhabitable." And that's basically what Winstead described to Collider back in March about what was then called Valencia, noting, "You don’t know who’s telling the truth or who to believe. There’s a lot of, who’s manipulating who." How, exactly, it all relates to Cloverfield is not clear. It's in theaters March 11.