Back in 2007, when J.J. Abrams had recently signed on to direct Star Trek, Paramount released a surprise trailer in front of Michael Bay’s Transformers for… something. That teaser – which came without even a title – was the first bit of promotion for the Abrams-produced Cloverfield. The trailer set the internet ablaze with theories and speculation, most of which were only answered after the found-footage monster movie debuted in January of 2008.
Flash-forward nine years, with Abrams in the midst of taking a victory lap for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and it has happened all over again. Early Friday morning, Paramount released a surprise trailer for something called 10 Cloverfield Lane, which is screening in theaters nationwide in front of Michael Bay’s latest movie, 13 Hours. Produced by Abrams, the film is not a direct sequel to Cloverfield, but what Abrams called “a blood relative” of the earlier feature in a statement to HitFix.
So what do we know? Some stuff. For starters, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman, and John Gallagher Jr. are the film’s stars, but they didn’t originally sign up for 10 Cloverfield Lane. Back in 2014, the project was called Valencia or The Cellar, and after Winstead was cast in the film, the trades released the following plot summary, here via Variety:
“The majority of the movie takes place in an underground cellar, and revolves around a young woman who wakes up in the cellar 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. She does not know what to believe and as tensions rise, she decides she must escape, regardless of the terrors that await outside.”
Whether that basic structure still holds true is unclear, but the trailer does include Winstead, Goodman, and Gallagher living in an underground bunker that looks like the hatch from Lost, with something nefarious possibly waiting just outside the doors. (A maybe-anachronistic use of Tommy James and the Shondells’ version of “I Think We’re Alone Now” only adds to the creepy, hatch-y Lost-ian vibes.)
Fortunately, the mystery of this Cloverfield follow-up won’t be secret for that long. Directed by Dan Trachtenberg, and written by Josh Campell and Matt Stuecken with help from Whiplash writer-director Damien Chazelle, 10 Cloverfield Lane will arrive in theaters on March 11 of this year.
Watch the teaser above.