10 cloverfield lane story

We were as surprised as the rest of you when that 10 Cloverfield Lane trailer arrived out of nowhere a few weeks ago. In an age where studios have their schedules laid out a decade in advance and start pushing trailers and posters 18 months before a movie is set to open, the sudden and dramatic reveal of very interesting genre film with some very interesting talent attached felt like a breath of fresh air. It’s not something everyone can pull off, but it’s a case of producer J.J. Abrams‘ patented “Mystery Box” philosophy actually doing what it is supposed to do.

And yet we still know very little about director Dan Trachtenberg‘s spiritual successor to Cloverfield, other than the fact that it’s set in an underground bunker where things seemingly go from bad to worse. Now, thanks to star Mary Elizabeth Winstead, we know a little bit more about the film’s plot and how it was made. But just a little bit more. After all, Abrams is known to implant small explosives in actors’ necks that go off when they say too much.

Entertainment Weekly recently caught up with Winstead (whom you surely remember from films like Death Proof and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), who revealed that the film was very secretive, which made the whole process feel very intimate:

There is this veil of secrecy to it from the very beginning. We were making this movie in this little bubble where nobody else knew what we were doing and there’s really only three actors in the whole thing, so it kind of felt like this really intimate experience. Now that it’s about to come out, it’s sort of crazy — like, ‘Oh yeah, people are excited to see this movie.’ I forgot that that was going to happen.

And yes, she did just say that there are only three actors in the entire movie. So this is your chance to start theorizing and what-not: is 10 Cloverfield Lane a three-actor film, focusing entirely on Winstead, John Goodman, and John Gallagher Jr., or is everyone under marching orders to throw us for a loop?

There’s something admirable about any film, especially a genre film like this, that sticks to a small scale. As the best episodes of The Twilight Zone have taught us, science fiction can truly flourish when its filtered through a small story dominated by strong, complex characters. It doesn’t look like 10 Cloverfield Lane has much of a connection to the original film beyond the title, but if the Cloverfield name exists simply to allow interesting filmmakers a chance to tell unique genre tales in a loosely connected universe, it will an experiment worth savoring.

Plus, the last time Winstead starred in small-scale thriller set almost entirely in a single room, we got Faults and you really, really ought to see Faults.

Winstead had more to say about the plot of the film, teasing what sounds like a real pressure cooker-type situation:

It’s so much about just the actors interacting with each other and that tension that builds, just all wondering if they are who they say the are, if they’re telling the truth or not, and really wondering what’s outside.

In any case, we are very curious about what 10 Cloverfield Lane has to offer and we’ll find out for sure on March 11, 2016.

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