On the eve of his departure for Japan, Rob sees his going away party as an opportunity to confess unresolved feelings and tie up loose ends. His agenda takes an unexpected turn when a jolt shakes the revelers. The crowd quiets down to watch news reports of an earthquake, then rushes to the roof to assess the damage. A fireball explodes on the distant horizon. A power failure follows. Confusion gives way to panic as the partygoers stumble through the blackout and into the streets. Amid the human screams and one inhuman roar, Rob and his friends must traverse a landscape that has changed, overtaken by something otherworldly, terrifying, monstrous…
"We live in a time of great fear. Having a movie that is about something as outlandish as a massive creature attacking your city allows people to process and experience that fear in a way that is incredibly entertaining and incredibly safe. I want to have that experience myself – to go to a movie that’s about something larger than life and hyper real, and CLOVERFIELD certainly is." – J.J. Abrams, Producer.
Paramount Pictures Presents A Bad Robot Production CLOVERFIELD starring Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas, T. J. Miller, Michael Stahl David, Mike Vogel and Odette Yustman. The film is directed by Matt Reeves and written by Drew Goddard. The producers are J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk. The executive producers are Guy Riedel and Sherryl Clark. The director of photography is Michael Bonvillain, ASC. The production designer is Martin Whist. The editor is Kevin Stitt, A.C.E. The costume designer is Ellen Mirojnick. The visual effects are by Double Negative and Tippett Studio. This film has been rated PG 13 for violence, terror and disturbing images.
The seed for CLOVERFIELD was planted in June 2006 while producer, writer and director J.J. Abrams and his son were on a publicity tour in Japan for Paramount’s MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III. The creator of the hit TV series FELICITY, ALIAS and LOST who made his motion picture directorial debut with MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III and will next direct a "Star Trek" feature, stopped by a local toy store with his son, Henry, and noticed a plethora of Godzilla themed toys. "It struck me that here was a monster that has endured, culturally, something which we don’t have in the States," he says.
Shortly thereafter, Abrams conceived the idea of making a movie involving a new monster, though he realized it
would require a substantially different approach from the original “Godzilla” and its numerous sequels and remakes. “I began thinking, what if you were to see a monster the size of a skyscraper, but through the point of view of someone, relatively speaking, the size of a grain of sand? To see it not from God’s eye or a director’s or from an omnipotent point of view.”
Abrams contacted frequent collaborator Drew Goddard, the screenwriter with whom he had worked on both ALIAS and LOST "J.J. called me and said, 'Drew, I've got to talk to you – it’s about something huge,'” the writer recalls. "At that point, all he had was the basic framework of a movie about a giant monster, but shot with a handheld camera. I immediately said, 'I'm in.'" "Drew was the first person I thought of, because he knows how to combine spectacle, genre and monsters with comedy and humanity," says Abrams. Adds producer Bryan Burk, "This was definitely going to be a genre piece, but we really wanted it to be about the people going through this experience, to make it an emotional movie. There was no one that we knew in our world who was more perfect for that than Drew."
The film’s focus is not so much on a giant monster wreaking havoc on New York City, but on a group of people undergoing an extreme crisis. CLOVERFIELD centers on a group of friends who, at the start of the evening, have gathered at a bon voyage party for Rob, who is moving to Japan. Another friend, Hud, is assigned to document the event with a camcorder, a task for which he is uniquely unqualified. "What was intriguing to me about this project," says Reeves, "is the idea of taking something that has such a huge scale, but filming it on an intimate level. The mood emerges from being with these characters. The challenge then became to figure out a way to take something extraordinary and almost absurd – a monster attack – and deal with it in a way that feels utterly real."
One of the first hints of the destruction brought on by the monster’s devastating tantrums comes early in the film, as the core group of young friends leaves Rob’s party to find out what the commotion outside is all about – only to be greeted by the head of the Statue of Liberty bouncing down the street. The shot was originally featured in a two minute teaser trailer filmed in late May 2007, which appeared just a few weeks later attached to Michael Bay’s summer blockbuster TRANSFORMERS. The trailer contained a variety of shots, including party scenes, Miss Liberty’s head and other depictions of destruction, all of which were shot prior to the start of production on the film. "The Liberty head sequence was a huge leap of faith from the studio," explains Burk. But the trailer had an immediate impact on genre fans. "The reaction was just what we’d hoped for," notes Abrams. "No one had heard of this movie yet. We didn’t even put a title on it, something the MPAA had never seen before."