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J.J. Abrams's ‘Cloverfield’: The Trades and the Blogs Investigate

Images from Cloverfield's trailer."Courtesy of" Paramount

Yesterday we told you about the trailer for the new J.J. Abrams–produced monster movie, which features shaky camera-phone footage of the Statue of Liberty's head getting blown off. (Maybe the monster is some kind of enormous John Rambo!) Today the trades jump on the story, with few results, while the movie blogs continue their yeoman's work of digging into Cloverfield's viral-marketing campaign.

Variety called Bad Robot, Abrams's production company whose logo appears on the teaser, to confirm details about the film, and a staffer "feigned ignorance about the trailer." The Hollywood Reporter does better, getting details on the mostly unknown cast. Reportedly no script pages were sent out; agents were simply asked if their clients wanted to be in the film. The movie only started shooting in mid-June in New York and is filming even as we write.

However, IGN contradicts HR on where the film's shooting; reportedly the movie, under the placeholder title Slusho, was filming in downtown Los Angeles last week. ("Slusho" is apparently an inside joke to fans of Abrams's Alias.) They also report that crew members are referring to the Monster in Question as "The Parasite."

/Film describes Cloverfield as "the new iPhone of the movie blog world" and points readers toward two Websites related to the film's viral-marketing campaign: a blog called Ethan Haas Was Wrong and a Flash puzzle site called Ethan Haas Was Right. Who is Ethan Haas? Jason Ritter's character in CBS's canceled comedy The Class. Though there's no confirmation that Ritter is in Cloverfield, his Class-mate Lizzy Kaplan is, according to HR.

And five short videos — the ones you see if you solve the puzzles on the Ethan Haas sites — are already going through the YouTube posting–Paramount removing cycle. They feature a fuzzy video image of a guy in a hat spouting some kind of apocalyptic hoo-ha. Search for "ethan haas" if you want to track some down, or download them from the many torrent sites and file-sharing services that already host them online.