10 Cloverfield Lane is the latest mystery box from man/magician JJ Abrams: a revolutionary new sort-of-sequel to his 2008 monster movie classic Cloverfield. He calls it a "blood relative" but what this means in real terms is "a sequel in all but name only". It's a technique that could catch on in the monster genre - spin-offs that springboard off an iconic monster attack but focus on something way less spectacular (and way cheaper to create). We humbly present the next 10 revolutionary new sort-of sequels to monster movie classics. That's right, JJ. We've bust your mystery box wide open.
What a nice, interesting surprise. A Cloverfield sequel that nobody was expecting dropping a trailer out of nowhere and coming with a tantalising-yet-head-scratching title implying a connection to the first film that makes no sense whatsoever. I'm excited, but also... confused? Like a dog hearing somebody whistling on the TV. I have no idea what's about to come next, but it sounds fun.
And this, as it happens, is the film's greatest strength. Because there are so few films released now that make us feel like dogs hearing somebody whistle on the TV.
The Force awoke a few days later than most for me, but on Monday 21st December, I sat in a small cinema in Hammersmith and readied my body for Star Wars. Sweaty palms? Check. Slightly elevated heartbeat? Check. Stupid grin plastered on face despite nearby proximity of colleagues who consider me an otherwise professional and functional human being? Check. There are have been few cinematic experiences in my career where I have legitimately broken out in goosebumps, but Episode VII was one of them: if a new Star Wars trilogy can no longer be considered a once in a lifetime event, then it's still a rare treat to savour. Excitement, thy name is The Force Awakens.
But then a funny thing happened when the movie started rolling.
Happy New Star Wars Trailer Day everyone! While the world and its web awaits the first non-shitty-camcorder footage of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, let's bide our time by learning a little about this most prestigious of national holidays. Are you all wearing your traditional Imperial robes? Then I'll begin!
The internets are pretty jizzed right now about the fact that Saoirse Ronan auditioned for Star Wars Episode VII, as revealed in the Empire podcast, but nobody seems to have picked up on her most revealing comment: "Yeah, I did [audition for Star Wars Episode VII]… I mean, everyone did. Everyone has auditioned for it." In a Shiznit exclusive, we spoke to literally everyone about their Ep 7 auditions, and here are just some of their remarkable stories...
Now that J-Jabs is confirmed as director of Star Wars: Episode VII, it seems like a mere formality that at some point his lucky charm from Mission: Impossible III and the Star Treks, Simon Pegg, will be cast in the film. No doubt Jabrams is wondering right now what part Pegg could possibly play. Well, WONDER NO MORE, JABRAMOVITCH!
Here's proof that we got the exclusive on the news that JJ Abrams is directing the new Star Wars film. We’ve also got the exclusive on any of these other Episode VII titbits if they turn out to be true. This is how exclusives work, right? Guesswork?