It will either be very interesting or very disappointing, very good or very bad.  What?  A movie to be released on January 18, 2008.

Heralding from J.J. Abrams, creator of the television series Lost, the as yet unnamed feature appears ready to offer something even I, as an avid monster movie fan, have long felt we needed: a new and heretofore unheard of and unimagined monster, one with a story overflowing with creativity and secrecy.  Abrams is the man to offer that, I think.

Codenamed “Cloverfield” for the street on which Abrams’ production company, Bad Robot, maintains an office, and also called 1-18-08 for obvious reasons, this ambitious project stems from something he said at Comic-Con, to wit:

I just want to say, I want a monster movie. I want a great monster movie. I wanted a monster movie for so long.

And I was in Japan over a year ago with my son, who’s eight, and all he wanted to do was go to toy stores, so I know he’s my son. And we went to all these stores and there were still all these Godzillas everywhere. And what’s better than Godzilla?

And I thought, we need our own monster, like we need a monster movie. And I thought not like King Kong. I love King Kong. King Kong is adorable. And Godzilla is a charming monster. We love Godzilla.

But I wanted something that was just insane, and intense.

And so we started making this movie, and we’re making it for you right now, and it’s almost done shooting.

If you’ve been to theaters lately to see “Transformers,” you’ve undoubtedly seen the viral teaser trailer for this new flick.  If not, you can see it at Apple’s site or, if you don’t have Quicktime and don’t want to download and install it, you can see a not-as-good-quality version at YouTube.

Now, given the trailer, how do you think things have progressed?  Well, we’re talking about J.J. Abrams, so you can safely assume the mystery has only deepened.

For example, look at the movie’s official site.  You’ll notice it contains only a flash animation with some photos.  If you move the photos around so that one is dragged away from the others, you can bring it to the top and see it clearly.  But there’s more.  These are clues to the movie, of course, and what you see is not all that you get.  Try dragging a photo to the top of the stack and shaking it back and forth.  It will flip over to reveal what’s on the back.  There are more clues hidden in the messages you find that way.

Interesting, eh?  It’s just like Abrams to deepen the confusion and expand the obscurity with every new piece of information.

In fact, the next bit of the puzzle doesn’t come from the trailer or the official site; instead, it came from gift bags Abrams gave away at Comic-Con to those people who got in line to see the man himself.  Inside those bags was an additional tidbit of light cast into an utterly dark room: a tee shirt.  But not just any tee shirt.  It was a Slusho! tee shirt.

What in hades is Slusho!?  You can visit the company’s site and read through the history and other information, but essentially it’s a fake drink made from a newly discovered substance found at the bottom of the ocean.  You need only see the official movie poster to realize his new monster comes from the ocean.  Put two and two together and you get. . .  Well, another question full of clues that lead to yet more questions.  In fact, if you read all the information available on the site, from history to customer comments, you walk away with more information, not all of which is clear or immediately helpful.

(By the way, he originally released four posters, each with the same image, and each with a different title: MONSTROUS, FURIOUS, TERRIFYING, and BARBAROUS.  I doubt any of those are the real title of the film.  Think of the man, one whose reputation hinges on deceit and ambiguity.  He could surprise me and use one of those, yet I seriously doubt that will be the case.)

And he’s not done yet!

The various characters from the movie have started showing up on MySpace.  There are seven at present and they’re only talking to each other: Jamie, Rob Hawkins, Lil, Beth, Hawk (a.k.a. J.J. Hawkins. . .), LenaDia, and Hud.  Are these part of what can only be described as a brilliant marketing campaign?  I think so, but only time will tell.

By now I assume Paramount is wetting its collective pants.  The approach to introducing this film is nothing short of magnificent genius.  Already there is such buzz and intense focus on it, what with finding all the clues and various outlets for information, that the intertubes are literally gushing with conjecture and discussion.  The movie’s still six months away!

I’m watching with intense focus the continuing saga of this movie’s pre-release hoopla.  As long as they keep going the way they are, there should be overwhelming interest in it when it’s released in January.  Let’s hope the film lives up to the hype.

[additional note: you can see more information, at least speculation on what’s available, at Cloverfield News, Wikipedia, Nonsense, and Cloverfield Clues, not to mention a great many others I’ve either not mentioned or not found; and while we’re on the subject, I’m thinking there are more sites from J.J. that deal with the movie; they’ve just not been found yet]

4 thoughts on “1-18-08”

  1. The movie will be called “THE BEAST”, because the original 1953 movie was called “The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms” and that title would not fit on their poster.

    Here are my points.

    The original movie was about a carnivorous dinosaur known as the Rhedosaurus thaws out of the ice and starts making its way down the east coast of North America. It arrives in New York where it manages to destroy most of Coney Island before finally being killed.

    In the original movie the monster was suppose to spit fire, but the budget didn’t allow for it.

    Everything I have seen on this movie matches. Please go here… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beast_f...

  2. I’ve seen the movie, Gary. It’s a classic and one of my favorites. Go claymation!

    But I’m thinking the title is a stretch. It’s already the title of two movies (one about a Soviet tank in Afghanistan and another about a Christian teen who discovers Jesus never existed).

    Then again, the copyrighted name recently discovered is “Overnight.” I certainly hope that’s not it. So who knows? We’re talking about J.J. Abrams. He’ll make it as unclear as he can before finally revealing the truth.

    Also, remaking a classic like that usually leads to a flop–at least in my eyes. It’s hard to beat the originals in such cases. He’d be better off starting from scratch, and he’s smart enough to know it.

    Honestly, I’m not worried about all the spy-versus-spy with people trying to figure it out now. I just hope the movie’s a good monster flick!

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