Why Cloverfield’s First Teaser Horrified Director Matt Reeves

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The Batman and Cloverfield director Matt Reeves explains the problems with releasing the 2008 film’s first teaser after shooting for just over a week.

Cloverfield director Matt Reeves opens up about the unforeseen problems that came from the film’s viral marketing campaign.

Speaking to Collider, Reeves discussed how the 2008’s found-footage film’s marketing campaign affected filming. Cloverfield‘s instantly iconic nameless trailer debuted ahead of showings of 2007’s Transformers, well before production was finished. “When the trailer came out, I remember going to see it, it was the 4th of July,” Reeves recalled. “And I remember going to the Cinerama Dome and going to watch the trailer. And watching the reaction going like, ‘Wow, this is so amazing.’ It was so exciting. And then my first feeling was that I was thrilled, and then suddenly I was like, ‘Wait, this is horrifying because we’ve shot a week and a half on this movie, I don’t know what the movie is and everybody else is going, ‘What is the movie?’… I mean, we had a script, but we were shooting very, very early on.”

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Reeves continued, “So the whole thing was very, very unusual. I would say that it’s probably one of the few experiences that could be described in that way. I mean, to make a trailer for a movie that you haven’t shot yet, that hadn’t actually been written yet, and have it come out on Transformers and have the whole world react and then to know, ‘Oh God, now we have to make the movie.’ That’s a pretty weird high-wire act.”

The Cloverfield Universe

Cloverfield, written by Drew Goddard and produced by J.J. Abrams, was seen by many as a return to prominence of the found-footage genre. The film followed a group of friends in New York City who are forced to run for their lives after a massive monster turns the city into its literal stomping grounds. The film was lauded upon release and kicked off a franchise that has grown to include 2016’s 10 Cloverfield Lane and 2018’s The Cloverfield Paradox, both of which were adapted from unrelated scripts and retooled to fit into the Cloverfield universe.

In Sep. 2022, it was reported that a new Cloverfield film was in the works at Paramount Pictures. The movie is set to be directed by Babak Anvari working from a script by Joe Barton. J.J. Abrams will return to produce alongside Hannah Minghella and Jon Cohen, with Matt Reeves, Drew Goddard and Bryan Burk executive producing. There are currently no details regarding the plot or how this upcoming sequel will tie into the previous films in the franchise.

Source: Collider


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