What Is Cloverfield?
By David Mumpower
July 5, 2007
What is Cloverfield?
This is the question that has been debated across North America in the hours since Transformers debuted the teaser to this upcoming 2008 release. Shrouded in mystery since its inception, the plot of Cloverfield is one of the most carefully guarded secrets in Hollywood right now.
BOP is generally not in the business of breaking news as it generally leads to more aggravation than it's worth, but for the first time since we unveiled the voice cast of The Incredibles, we are going to make an exception and do so here in order to clear up some of the mystery. Cloverfield is a J.J. Abrams production, so it should not be surprising to hear that a couple of key players from Abrams' television shows are on board.
The writer is Drew Goddard. Goddard has been a producer on both Alias and Lost and served as co-executive producer for the latter show's 2007 episodes. Fans of Joss Whedon (and BOP knows there are a ton of you out there since we sometimes double as a Firefly fan site) also know him as a writer for several episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Goddard was the principal scribe on Dirty Girls, the episode from Buffy season seven. This episode featured the return of Faith as well as the transition of Nathan Fillion from the recently canceled Firefly to Buffy wherein he portrayed a nefarious, misogynistic man of the cloth. Goddard's work on Angel primarily occurred during that show's final season as well. He wrote the World War II submarine epic, Why We Fight, and earned his place in permanent Whedon-lore for his invention of The Immortal in The Girl in Question. Clearly, he is one of the most inventive and imaginative young writers in the industry. His presence alone is indicative of a quality work in the offing.
Abrams has not left anything to chance, though. He has also hired one of his most trusted co-workers from the early days of Felicity for this project. BOP has confirmed that Matt Reeves is the director on this project. Reeves is the writer/director of the 1996 David Schwimmer comedy, The Pallbearer, and he served as executive producer during the run of Felicity (pre- and post-Keri Russell haircut). Reeves and Abrams created that project together with Reeves even writing and directing the pilot, so their working relationship goes back a decade now. When Goddard came up with the premise for Cloverfield, Reeves was the easy choice to helm the project.
As far as the acting talent goes, BOP has confirmed three stars for the project. The first cast member we can name is Michael Stahl-David. He was last seen as Sean Donnelly in the short-lived NBC drama, The Black Donnellys. Also on board is the lovely Odette Yustman. Humorously enough, Yustman has a role in Transformers, the movie that marked the debut of the massive Internet buzz for Cloverfield. Yustman's body of work thus far is mainly comprised of television appearances. She has had key roles in 2006's South Beach as well as the current ABC drama, October Road. Finally, Lizzy Caplan completes the trend of hard working television actors ready for their big break in movies. Caplan made her debut as Sara in the critical darling from 1999, Freaks and Geeks. She's since had recurring roles on Smallville, The Pitts, Tru Calling, Related, and The Class. Perhaps her most memorable was as Janis Ian in the 2004 blockbuster, Mean Girls.
So, that's the cast and crew of Cloverfield that IMDb doesn't even have yet. As far as the what, BOP doesn't want to spoil too much of the surprise here other than to say the following. It's a good ol' fashioned monster movie that hearkens back to a different era of movie making, but it does so while utilizing the heights of modern special effects. Hollywood has worked to perfect the apocalyptic movie in recent years with works such as 28 Weeks Later and the Dawn of the Dead re-make envisioning what the world would be like as it fell apart. Cloverfield seeks to be the next great "we're under attack and we're all going to die" action drama. After only two minutes of footage, it has immediately become one of the most anticipated titles of 2008.
And if you don't understand why yet, just watch the YouTube video for
Then, check out the mysterious new site that has shown up to hype the
Not coincidentally, January 18, 2008 is currently the date scheduled for the film's release.
See more information on our Cloverfield movie preview page