10 Cloverfield Lane Star Mary Elizabeth Winstead Reveals When She Learned About Movie's Rebranding

If you thought the Marvel Cinematic Universe was the most secretive franchise in Hollywood, wait until you dive deep into the inner workings of JJ Abrams' Cloverfield world. At one point, 10 Cloverfield Lane was being developed as a standalone feature called The Cellar. Then, once Abrams and Dan Trachtenberg realized there was substantial connective tissue between the flicks, the thriller was added to the franchise.

The problem is, that realization came late during production, after a substantial amount of the movie had already been filmed. In fact, Mary Elizabeth Winstead said in one recent interview she wasn't aware it was a Cloverfield movie until just prior to its release.

"It was all definitely after the fact because I didn't know it was a Cloverfield movie until just before it came out," the Kate star told Collider. "I had no idea it was a Cloverfield movie! [Laughs] It was an idea that was floated around but wasn't something that was really, officially like, 'This is part of that universe.'"

She then recalled a meeting she had with Abrams where the A-lister laid out all the plans of the franchise.

"It was its own standalone film and then, just before the movie came out, spoke with JJ and it was like, 'Oh no, this is gonna be part of the Cloverfield franchise,'" she added. "And I really didn't know what to think of it at first because I hadn't really wrapped my brain around it and then, once everything got laid out and it made sense and the marketing for it came out, I was like, 'Oh, I see how this fits together, this kind of puzzle,' and it's actually really smart."

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To date, Paramount's Cloverfield franchise has three films in it — the original feature from Matt Reeves, 10 Cloverfield Lane, and the widely-panned Cloverfield Paradox that dropped on Netflix in 2018. As of this January, a direct sequel to the original feature was in development by Abrams' Bad Robot banner. The sequel has already tapped Gotham PD showrunner Joe Barton as writer, and Abrams will produce. Reeves is not attached to the project this time around.

10 Cloverfield Lane is now streaming on Pluto TV.