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Jerking the blogosphere around like his own personal publicity puppet, the singular J.J. Abrams has bloggers and fanboys waiting with bated, Cheeto-laced breath for his latest in enigmatic show biz buzz. This time it comes in the form of a cryptic teaser trailer (embedded below), first seen before the Transformers movie.
Like so many teasers before it, the trailer doesn’t reveal the film’s title but tantalizes with explosions, Japan-bound bon voyages, and a decapitated Lady Liberty. And for this everyone from Ain’t It Cool News to CNBC is atwitter?
After its premier at Michael Bay’s latest two-hour car commercial, bootleg copies of the trailer were put up on YouTube and taken down by Viacom-owned Paramount. Then the trailer went up on Apple’s site (in HD glory) and an official website, among other not-so-official ones, was “discovered.”
Since then a variety of unconfirmed sources have yielded a few things the blogosphere now seems to accept as fact. The working title of the film is “Cloverfield” and it is a monster flick shot entirely on handheld cameras from the point of a group trying to escape a bestial New York City. Word is that on set the film is referred to as “The Parasite” which seems awfully self-defeating considering Joon-ho Bong’s The Host so recently reinvigorated the monster genre.
Rumors of everything from Voltron to Godzilla to Donkey Kong have been circulating like head lice in kindergarten. But then, down from the mountain, Mr. Abrams himself sent a note to AintItCoolNews.com to confirm and deny various facets of the snowballing marketing campaign.
Regarding the online stuff you posted: yeah, we’re doing some fun stuff on the web. But, obviously, if the movie doesn’t kick some massive ASS, who gives a rat’s about what’s online? So as you can imagine, we’re focusing mostly on THAT. For what it’s worth, the only site of ours that people have even FOUND is the 1-18-08.com site. The others (like the Ethan Haas sites) have nothing to do with us.
So, while hinting that there are more clues to be discovered (like this odd site that might be connected), Abrams says that he’s “focusing mostly” on the movie and, therefore, not the ARG surrounding the it. This could have been, and might still be, a really cool media blitz, but Abrams’ words don’t inspire me to go out and search the series of tubes for mutant monster memos. Surely more clues will drop, but unless this ARG is holistically and interactively tied in with handheld feel of the film I don’t see anything special here.
So here’s my prediction: It’s The Burg, told Blair Witch style, in a Godzilla movie. And I’m sure that’s exactly how Abrams pitched it to Paramount. I watch Entourage, I know these things.