Here are a few (spoiler-free) things you should know about 10 Cloverfield Lane.
In an era where teaser trailers have teasers trailers, entire scripts can leak to the internet, and movies are announced years in advance, it's amazing that the public is able to be shocked by the mere existence of a movie. While fans have certainly hoped for a Cloverfield sequel since the original film's 2008 release, they never could have expected one barely two months after the premiere of the first (and full-length) trailer.
Since the plot of the movie (or at least its twists and turns) has been shrouded in secrecy, here are a few things you can know about it.
1. It didn't start out as part of the Clover-verse.
Writers Josh Campbell and Matthew Stuecken didn't originally intend to pen a film tied in any way to Cloverfield. It wasn't until J.J. Abrams read the script, originally called Cellar, that Bad Robot decided to spearhead the project and turn it into what Abrams refers to as a "blood relative" of Cloverfield.
2. Filming took place in New Orleans, all on one set, and was done chronologically.
"It was important to shoot chronologically and we could do it because we had one set," director Trachtenberg told Empire, adding that it helped the actors remain consistent. "Because there’s so many twists and turns and because your allegiances keep changing, I thought it would be a little bit overwhelming [for the actors] to have to flip-flop between, 'Okay, now we trust this guy, now we trust this thing.'"
3. It's Trachtenberg's first feature-length film.
He's directed a number of shorts, including one based on the video game Portal, but 10 Cloverfiled Lane is his first foray into features. Despite this, both John Goodman and Mary Elizabeth Winstead said at a press event in New York City on Sunday that they'd never have guessed it was their director's first full-length film.
4. The film wasn't fully wrapped until the last minute.
The finishing touches weren't put on 10 Cloverfield Lane until just over a week before the film's wide release, as Trachtenberg revealed at an early screening in New York City.
5. Mary Elizabeth Winstead was at the top of the filmmakers' wishlist for the role of Michelle.
While it comes to no shock of those familiar with Winstead's action/horror genre work that she would be the ideal portrayer of a badass like Michelle in a film like 10 Cloverfield Lane, Winstead herself was surprised to find this out.
"I always assume that I’m like the fifth person that they’ve gone to," she told FilmInk. "That’s lovely!"
6. John Goodman hasn't seen the original Cloverfield.
While Winstead saw Cloverfield in theaters and "loved it," Goodman admitted at Sunday's press conference that he's taking his time checking it out.
7. Everyone involved in 10 Cloverfield Lane was sworn to absolute secrecy.
"I had to be very coy with [my friends and family," Trachtenberg told The Daily News, while Winstead recalled she received the script as a digital file that "had all these security features even to just get to open it." She added that her name was "watermarked so big over it" she had trouble reading the script at all.
Goodman, meanwhile, joked at the press event on Sunday that during filming rewrites were presented on toilet paper, written in urine that could only be seen after a round in a microwave.
"The unfortunate thing was when we had to eat the script," he concluded.
8. Trachtenberg found inspiration in interesting places.
The director, who also attended the New York City press conference with Winstead and Goodman, listed Rosemary's Baby, The Hunt for the Red October, and the video games Fallout and Portal among 10 Cloverfield Lane's influences. Alfred Hitchcock fans will also recognize shades of the Master of Suspense's work in a key scene.
9. The jukebox wasn't originally in the script.
The bunker's jukebox, which serves as the opening bit of footage shown in the film's first trailer, wasn't written into the story.
"It was where we were prepping the movie, in our offices," said Trachtenberg at Sunday's press event. "We were like 'Oh my god, we have to put that in the movie.'"
10. It might not be the last Cloverfield film.
Though Trachtenberg think it would be cool for his film to be a sort of standalone adventure, he'd also love if Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane were the beginning of a Twilight Zone-esque anthology.
Take a look at the trailer for 10 Cloverfield Lane, in theaters today, below.