These days, you hear about movies years before they’re made, and we see trailers months before they hit theaters. So back in 2007, when Bad Robot released a trailer for a monster movie called Cloverfield without any fanfare, it was a happening. And they just did it again.

Thursday night, multiple reports started coming in from Twitter, via Slashfilm, that there was a mysterious new trailer for a movie called 10 Cloverfield Lane playing in front of Michael Bay’s movie 13 Hours. This is a title no one had heard of until that very moment, just like Cloverfield in 2007. A few hours later, it officially came online. You can see it above.

Now, as you can tell based on the way the title is handled, audiences immediately assume this movie is in fact Cloverfield 2. Paramount refused to comment at all on the nature of the trailer but, producer J.J. Abrams said the following.

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“The idea came up a long time ago during production. We wanted to make it a blood relative of Cloverfield,” producer J.J. Abrams told Collider. “The idea was developed over time. We wanted to hold back the title for as long as possible.”

“Blood relative.” An odd choice of words. It makes it sound like 10 Cloverfield Lane is a film that’s tonally related to the original film, but not narratively. Kind of like the next episode in a Cloverfield, mystery, Bad Robot anthology.

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As for this specific movie, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a movie once codenamed Valencia, a Bad Robot film that’s long been on Paramount’s release schedule for March 11. It’s directed by Dan Trachtenberg (Portal: No Escape) and stars John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher Jr. They’re all in the trailer.

Though details were long been kept secret about Valencia, the film reportedly tells the story of a girl who wakes up in a basement and is told she can’t go outside because of a chemical attack. The problem is, she doesn’t know if that’s true or not. You get some of that in the footage.

Nothing at any stage of this film’s development made it sound like a Cloverfield sequel. Why the title 10 Cloverfield Lane? Well if the film largely takes place at a single residence, an address would make sense. And that address could be “Cloverfield” because that’s the name of the exit you’d used to get to Bad Robot in Santa Monica, CA—hence the original movie having that title.

Plus, it begs for wild speculation just like this. People will immediately take notice of the new Bad Robot Cloverfield movie. And who knows? Maybe it’s not a chemical attack keeping everyone inside. Maybe it’s a big fucking monster. We’ll find out on March 11.

Update: This post originally went up before the trailer was online. It’s been slightly edited now that it is.

[Slashfilm]


Contact the author at germain@io9.com.