10 Cloverfield Lane is approaching us quickly, but the film is already providing some of what made the first film so memorable – an iconic marketing scheme. The 2008 film added various websites and blogs dedicated to providing tidbits of information regarding the monster-flick such as Slusho, the Japanese slushy company that had ties to the ocean and ingredients that set the company up as a mysterious faction of the Cloverfield story. When it originally occurred, I was enamored by the eerie and unique tie-ins, and having the opportunity to enter research mode once again has brought happiness to my fanboy heart. In the original Cloverfield viral marketing campaign we learned that Slusho was in partnership with Tagurato, who at the time was deep-sea drilling and at the very least discovered the secret Slusho ingredient.
The website for the partner company of Slusho (Tagurato) who also claims to be involved in medical experiments and studies – was recently discovered to have an updated hidden page that includes employees of the month (first found by a Cloverfield Redditor) and lists Howard Stambler, a telemetary analyst for a sub-company named Bold Futura. What ensures the connection is that the man is also revealed to be John Goodman’s character in the Cloverfield spinoff/sequel film. Stambler’s information reads: “Howard will celebrate his seven-year anniversary with Bold Futura in the fall. This month, Howard’s drive, commitment and refusal to accept easy answers resulted in a significant breakthrough diagnosing transmission complications with two of our governmental clients’ orbiting satellites”
As some of you may remember, the end of Cloverfield included a brief shot of something falling into the ocean – later suggested to be a satellite involved with the Tagurato company. Many who have continued to research the marketing tactics of the franchise believe the satellite woke the Cloverfield creature from its slumber, and the mysterious company discovered something they weren’t prepared for. This was also hinted at with Slusho’s “seabed nectar” that will “make your belly pop” which was an occurrence from the bite of the smaller creatures in Cloverfield. If anything this adds more confirmation of a deep connection to the original film, with one of the three characters being confirmed as a Tagurato employee. The only thing we know about the plot of 10 Cloverfield Lane so far is that Goodman’s character hopes to contain himself and two others in a bomb shelter like structure, in fear of what resides outside. With his company associations and satellite knowledge, it’s highly plausible that he knows exactly what is going on and Stambler could play a major role to shed light on the Cloverfield mythology.
In his employee of the month photo, the character of Stambler is wearing a Radioman ’70 shirt, and usually you wouldn’t need to focus on these random inclusions, but with Cloverfield every detail requires an analytical approach. If you search Radioman70.com, you will be re-directed to a website called "Fun and Pretty Things." At first glance it isn’t much, but the first sign that it is a Cloverfield tie-in is the Eiffel tower image (the Eiffel Tower is shown as art and clothing repeatedly in the 10 Cloverfield Lane trailer.) The only clickable link on the page is a screenshot from the film Pretty in Pink, which pulls up a box requiring a pass code. If you go back to find the scene from Pretty in Pink, you will discover that she receives a message stating “do you want to talk?” which turns out to be the passphrase. The next uncovered message is a letter from a father to his daughter, after being kept away because of his ex-wife. The letter (a second was recently updated) is visibly written in code, mentioning discovering something while in the Navy, and referencing a bunker built for protection that could be the location of 10 Cloverfield Lane – or a mislead to avoid government interference. At the end of the letters lies a chat box asking “are you megan?” and when selecting yes, it asks a security question about her 13th birthday present. This is where we've hit a temporary roadblock, as no one has quite discovered the next answer – but we continue to evaluate clues from the websites and trailer until a new development is made. In the mean-time, the recent Super Bowl ad for 10 Cloverfield Lane adds to the theory that the $5 million budget was a smokescreen to hide the potential of the original film’s “blood relative.” A final shot shows Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s character escaping, only to freeze in front of a glowing light and an intimidating road. J.J. Abrams team has not only shocked us with a film tied to the 2008 found-footage movie, but resurrected the brilliant marketing methods that helped make the film an undeniable creative powerhouse. I think I can speak for the rabid fanbase by stating these crossover notions about the first film and 10 Cloverfield Lane are exactly what we had hoped for... but I'm still crossing my fingers for a glimpse at the survivors of the NYC events in Cloverfield! 10 Cloverfield Lane hits theaters March 11th – but watch out for more Cloverfield coverage and speculation as we get closer to the release date!