When folks around here think of viral marketing, they think of Cloverfield. After all, MovieViral recognizes the film as one of the primary inspirations for the website. When folks think of Cloverfield, they probably think of its producer J.J. Abrams. It is necessary then to report any and all news regarding his upcoming projects, especially when they are as secretive as what has emerged. Pajiba released some interesting, albeit unconfirmed, rumors about Abrams’ next film, and how it is drawing comparisons to Cloverfield.
Here’s the skinny: Pajima’s top secret source is reporting that Abrams and his Bad Robot production company are planning to set up shop in an undisclosed European location to film a project called 500 Rads. Plot details are nonexistent, but the source goes so far as to compare it to a Cloverfield and 28 Days Later hybrid of sorts. Like Cloverfield, the film will have a modest budget of around $25 million, and it appears a finished script is all that stands in the way of this project getting started.
Now, this rumor can turn out to be false, and Abrams may surprise us and direct a Star Trek sequel before anything else. What’s interesting though is that the title alone has already drawn significant speculation from the online community. Alex at FirstShowing points out that based off a Wikipedia entry, 500 rads is the amount of radiation needed to kill a human. This leads one to consider the numerous avenues a story could be based around this concept. Should we expect a zombie film with shaky cam? Might this be the Cloverfield sequel so many have been clamoring for, but disguised as another project? Is it too early to say that the viral for this film has already begun? Abrams has shown a mastery of sci-fi with his work on “Fringe” and Star Trek. I’m hoping this project ties into that genre, while building upon the suspense and excitement of Cloverfield.
My personal belief is that if Abrams’ had committed to a Trek sequel as his next project, it would have been finalized a long time ago. As much as I adored the latest Trek film, Abrams is wisely allowing for more personal projects in between his big budget ones, similar to how Christopher Nolan has handled his work schedule in light of the Batman Begins series. I tend to give this rumor the benefit of the doubt, if for nothing else than I loved Cloverfield and the viral leading up to its release. How great would it be to go through a similar journey again? Keep an eye on the site as more details emerge about this project, and feel free to speculate in the comments section!
Abrams’ next confirmed project is the TV series “Undercover”, for which he may direct the pilot. Check out Slashfilm for more information on that.