It’s hard to recall a more recent groundbreaking marketing campaign than the push for Cloverfield back in 2008, a box-office smash that appeared to drop out of nowhere, much like its gigantic monster that terrorized New York City. For a time, it was known simply by its release date, “1-18-08,” with fans still lining up in excitement to see it without even knowing what it was about.
Now, 10 years on, it seems as though the franchise is up to its old tricks again. The third installment in the Cloverfield canon – God Particle or Untitled Cloverfield Sequel, as some are calling it – is on the horizon, and another cryptic viral campaign is on the way.
The original marketing campaign (amid a number of curious red herrings) included a website for fictitious Japanese mining company Tagruato, which has recently been reinstated. One eagle-eyed Reddit user discovered that if you turn the brightness down on your screen, a message appears that reads:
Tokyo – January 18 2018: Tagruato has begun development on a revolutionary new energy technology in what Ceo Garo Yoshida called a technological great leap forward for our planet. This renewable technology will take at least 4 years to complete along with another six years International regulatory bodies to bring the powerful revolutionary energy source by April 18 2028.
There is also a link to another website, 04182028.com, which has far more frightening content (particularly if you have your computer volume whacked up without realizing) as a garbled audio plays over distorted visuals with a man warning us of “dangers” ahead. Consider us confused, and terrified.
According to Variety, the original plot outline follows a team of astronauts on a space station in the near future, who make a terrifying discovery involving a new energy source known as the “God Particle,” and their desperate fight for survival. This could explain the “revolutionary new technology” that is mentioned on the Tagruato site. Then again, it could be there to fool us all. (Reminder: The original marketing campaign for the first film pushed a storyline about a couple named Jamie and Teddy, which never made it into the movie.)
For now, it seems to be the beginning of something very exciting, and as the recent delays might suggest, perhaps something that the director Julius Onah is possibly still tinkering with. The movie stars Daniel Brühl, Elizabeth Debicki, Aksel Hennie, John Ortiz, David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Chris O’Dowd, and Zhang Ziyi, and is set to hit theaters April 20, 2018.
Are you ready for the next Cloverfield? Let us know your thoughts (and theories about the campaign) in the comments below.