Warning: '10 Cloverfield Lane' spoilers ahead!
As hoards flock to theaters for Cloverfield's 2016 counterpart 10 Cloverfield Lane, the folks over at Bloody Disgusting have unearthed a Reddit thread from January that makes all sorts of allegations surrounding the movie's original intentions.
Let's Break It Down
When 10 Cloverfield Lane was announced back in 2014 it was originally titled The Cellar and was then part of the now-defunct Insurge label from Paramount, whose aim was to produce 10 low-budget indie flicks per year.
With The Cellar's announcement came the following plot details:
The majority of the movie takes place in an underground cellar and revolves around a young woman who wakes up after a severe car accident and fears she has been abducted. Her captor, a doomsday prepper, tells her he saved her life and that there has been a terrible chemical attack that has left the outside uninhabitable. As tensions rise, she decides she must escape regardless of the terrors that await outside.
What does this mean?
Well, as Bloody Disgusting points out, this indicates that writers Dan Casey (who wrote the updated script), Josh Campbell and Matthew Stuecken (who penned the original draft) would have all touched on the original story.
It is also worth noting that not only was 10 Cloverfield Lane first known as The Cellar, it was filmed under the alias Valencia.
The Reddit Post
The post, entitled "The truth about 10 Cloverfield Lane," alleges primarily that once Insurge was shut down by Paramount, the movie was already filmed, completed and then "thrown out to the wind and orphaned."
The Reddit user writes:
Paramount bought it back up and had Dan Casey and Damien Chazelle do some re-writes so that it would connect to the Cloverfield universe and they went back and did reshoots and add-ons in March 2015 in New Orleans and L.A.
Which connects to speculation that a new finale had been filmed to tie 10 Cloverfield Lane to the Cloverfield universe — as The Cellar carried no mention whatsoever of any monster. And, while the 2016 film doesn't include the actual Cloverfield monster, there are extraterrestrial crafts and lifeforms within the movie's finale.
So Could The 'Cloverfield' Connection Have Been Slipped In As An Afterthought?
Using the original script for The Cellar, the Reddit user writes the following claim:
I also have the 2013 script for ‘The Cellar,’ and I see no mention of the monster anywhere in here. Pretty much every scene from the trailer is in the script and there is no mention of a monster. The climax of the movie is:
'…after a whole movie of hints and boredom, Winstead finally finds out from the bearded guy and John Goodmen what happened to the world. Iran got ahold of a stockpile of nuclear/chemical weapons and then they detonated those bombs in major cities. The majority of the outside world is now covered with radiation and chemical fallout. They also find out that the the bunker’s ventilation system can’t support more then 2 people. Winstead doesn’t believe them and thinks that John Goodman is a pervert so she rebels. After a whole bunch of in-fighting and running around amongst the 3 of them, the bearded dude is killed by Goodman , and Winstead stabs/shoots Goodman and escapes with a hazmat suit. She steals a truck and drives down an empty highway towards Chicago. She drives for a while until she can see the city in the distance, she then gets out of the car and the camera pans around to show a devastated chicago skyline. Cut to black and credits roll.'
The post continues:
The movie ends with something out of the farmhouse scene in Spielberg’s ‘War of the Worlds’, with Michelle escaping from Howard and getting outside of the shelter, only to find that aliens have invaded and are hunting people. She must outwit a worm-like attack dog and then do exactly what Tom Cruise did in ‘War of the Worlds’, introducing an explosive device into a biological looking orifice on an alien craft to escape from its massive tentacles. Then, after all of this, she embarks to Houston to kick some alien ass, in a “the battle is over, let’s fight the war” kind of ending cribbed from ‘Battle: Los Angeles’. In the last shot, flashes of lightning reveal alien ships in the distance, indicating the film-long struggle we just witnessed is comparatively minuscule.
In the original script, Michelle escapes the shelter and is chased through the farmhouse by Howard, who still wants to “protect” her. She blinds him with bathroom cleaner, he tells her about his tragic life (dead wife, missing daughter, treacherous Nate, etc.), and then she shoots him in the kneecap and runs away. He ends the movie alive, entreating Michelle to “be careful.” Later, after traveling down empty roads and finding no one around to help her, she crests a hill and sees the Chicago skyline, smoldering and destroyed. No explanation is given. We don’t even know what she will do next, only that she now knows that Howard, for all his oddity, was correct. The final line in the script is, “She slowly pulls down the mask on the hazmat suit before taking a breath.”
It's certainly food for thought. Could this be a typically Hollywood case of no franchise, no dollar?