Unofficial Cloverfield short from Hollywood VFX guru expands the mystery box
We're still waiting on that next Cloverfield movie and, knowing Bad Robot producer J.J. Abrams, it could totally catch us off guard. But while we wait, an unofficial "proof of concept" called "Megan" puts fans back inside the mystery box — and it looks slick as hell because it was directed by Greg Strasz, the visual effects supervisor on Independence: Day Resurgence and It Follows, as well as a VFX art director on White House Down.
Did you ever wonder what became of Howard Stambler's (John Goodman) daughter Megan in the 10 Cloverfield Lane story? This short appears to give us Strasz's take on the events.
Here's what we know about Megan from the official theatrical film: though she doesn't make an appearance, it was mentioned that she loved French culture and wanted to be an artist when she grew up. Her mother, growing tired of Howard's erratic behavior, took Megan to live in Chicago. It seemed like the girl knew about her father's many conspiracies about the end of the world, and the mysterious Mr. Yoshida (actor Garret T. Sato) mentions to adult Megan (Matilda Lutz) in the short, "The old man wasn't that crazy after all, was he?"
"Megan" seems to be a passion project for Strasz and his team, which includes writers Giuseppe Mercadante and Jean de Meuron, cinematographer Markus Förderer, composer Iris Wallner, VFX supervisor Olcun Tan, editor Zimo Huang, and sound designer Peter Bawiec.
The story sees Howard's daughter all grown up in a chopper when she's caught in the midst of a conspiracy. It all leads to a familiar monster making its introduction and a mysterious floating pod hovering over her city.
Gradient Effects, the VFX studio that worked on Thor: Ragnarok and Stranger Things, brought the effects to life as a "stress test" for new software they used to better enable 8k resolution, according to The Hollywood Reporter. (Just FYI, 8k is higher in quality than HD — about 16 times the resolution.)
"8k requires about 16 times more bandwidth, computation power and storage than the traditional 2k workflow used on most productions today, which means studios that want to stay on top of it, really need to prep their pipelines," Tan said. "Gradient and Secret Lab were designed to tackle two different challenges: demanding TV schedules and ambitious VFX."
The cast, some of whom have posted behind-the-scenes images on social media, also includes Ralf Moeller, Yuki Sakamoto, TJ Misawa, Edwin Modlin II, Paolo Bernardini, Kevin LaRosa II, David Villada, Michael Baszler, Cam McHarg, Arthur Napiontek, Isaac Stephen Montgomery, Hovo Vardanian, and Matthew Conner.
Abrams' next Bad Robot production, Overlord, is definitely not Cloverfield-related…assuming he's not pulling a fast one on us. "We are actually developing a true, dedicated Cloverfield sequel, which will be coming to you, theaters very soon," Abrams told press at this year's CinemaCon.
In the meantime, check out the unofficial expansion above.