Instead, Abrams wanted to resurrect the Cloverfield spirit. "[In] a sequel... you've already bought in to the conceit, so you get what you expect," he says. "Sometimes, you get a little bit more this way, a little bit more that way. On a movie like this, it's an opportunity to do something that I think is more unique. [Cloverfield] gives us a platform to tell that story, making connections in ways that fans of the original wouldn't expect, and people who've never seen the original don't need to worry about."
Abrams has serious thoughts about movie trailers. His glowing positivity focuses to a laser beam when the topic of Hollywood marketing comes up. "What I can't stand is the trailer that shows me the CliffsNotes version of the movie," he says. "It gives me every highlight, every turn, every location in two minutes... Those trailers, for me, are the ones that are diminishing and reductive and disappointing."
Not every movie has the luxury of being secretive. On Star Wars, Abrams had to show off his finished product, and he says that "navigating the waters of 'How do we begin to reveal this thing to the public?' required as much thought as the experience of making the movie." The gamble, he says, was too big to hold it all back. But, to him, a trailer should provoke a single question from the audience: what was that?