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maryann johanson | watching movies at home

more on ‘Cloverfield,’ that weird trailer before ‘Transformers’

For everyone who saw Transformers this long holiday weekend and is wondering what the deal is with that untitlted J.J. Abrams trailer before it… It’s called code-named “Cloverfield”… maybe.

When I wrote about this mysterious trailer last week, I half jokingly suggested that it might not be a real film at all, that the trailer and all the viral marketing accompanying it might be a giant put-on, instead. But after I posted that, I got an email from someone in a position to have some genuine inside information about the film. God help me, I suddenly sound like Ain’t It Cool News, but I swear this isn’t a put-on, either. My correspondent — who of course insists I publish no identifying information — says this:

Cloverfield is a real movie.

I’m not going to claim to know everything, but i can give you a few tiny scoops. probably more like pieces that can connect dots later, as more info comes out. Who knows, here ya go…

[info here about how this person comes to know these things, which I was able to independently confirm. this doesn’t mean this person is telling the truth, though I tend to believe this person is being honest, just that this person could feasibly know this]

When reps from Paramount approached us, they were uber secretive…

i was also told that it’s some kind of monster movie, and there may be something about the Lincoln Tunnel being at least a momentary location…

…filming [has] already wrapped.

So,all in all… cloverfield is a real flick, it’s giant monster related, and it’s finished filming for the most part.

I was told it’s definitely not a Lost movie.

Not much, but every tidbit is tantalizing at the moment.

The Hollywood Reporter on Friday had a few more details:

Paramount greenlighted the project under a veil of heavy secrecy in February, about the same time that Abrams agreed to the take over the directing reins of the new “Star Trek” film.

The casting process was just as mysterious. No scripts or even scene pages were sent out [this confirms something my correspondent above mentioned that I deleted because it would have given hints to how this person garnered this info]; agents who were contacted were simply asked if their client wanted to be in the movie or not. Eventually a cast, made up mostly of relative unknowns, was put together; it includes Michael Stahl-David (“The Black Donnellys”), Odet Jasmin, Mike Vogel (“Supercross”) and Lizzy Kaplan (“The Class”).

The movie, which is believed to have a relatively modest budget of about $30 million, began shooting in mid-June in New York.

That last bit about shooting is either wrong, or proves my secret emailer wrong, or else this movie had the quickest shoot in the history of studio movies.

Oh! And “Ethan Haas” himself is now blogging at stayunderground.blogspot.com.

That is all.

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