The level of speculation over the film’s plot and — crucially — what the monster will look like has reached fever pitch in sci-fi geek online communities over the past several months. Even the title has been the subject of intense debate: originally Paramount released a trailer with Transformers last summer which showed the decapitated Statue of Liberty shot (the iconic image of the movie) and the release date 1-18-08, which, for the non-transatlantic amongst us translates to the 18th of January 2008.
Now, however, it seems that the studio have gone for “Cloverfield” which has been a known working-title since the start of the hype. But still nobody’s sure about whether this is a Godzilla-type movie, or something darker — H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu has been cited as an inspiration in several quarters.
Intense. But I’ve still got no idea whether it’s a 200 foot alien terror-arachnid or a murky shot of the StayPuft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters. The jury’s out, in other words, but what’s indisputable is that Abrams and the Paramount marketing team are doing a great job of generating interest in what could be a run-of-the-mill monster movie.
Numerous blogs are dedicated solely to dissecting any scrap of information about the movie as soon as it is released. This is then rehashed and repackaged on hundreds of other non-specialist blogs, like mine, and the meme spreads. It’s a truly viral campaign, and it works because a very tight lid has been kept on the script, with no leaks so far.
Given Abrams’ credentials, I’m pretty confident Cloverfield will at least give sci-fi enthusiasts like me something to talk about come the new year.