Say what you will about his followthrough, but J.J. Abrams knows how to set up a project. He’s established himself as something of a trailblazer for viral ads, littering the Web with various Lost-related content, and he’s using the same tactics to create buzz for his next film production — so much buzz, in fact, that the thing doesn’t even have an official title yet, and that’s news, as Slashfilm‘s Peter Sciretta recently learned firsthand.
How intense is the speculation surrounding the film (referred to, up ’til now, as 1-18-08 or Cloverfield)? As Sciretta posted at Slashfilm on Tuesday, enterprising fans have been poring over copyright registration paperwork. (We can just hear our mothers now: “If you only gave that kind of effort to your homework…”) Anyway, an attorney named Lori N. Boatright has registered a trademark for the title Overnight, and this just happens to be the same Lori Boatright who did the same for the trademarks protecting Abrams’ Bad Robot production company, as well as a pair of slogans thought to be connected with the upcoming movie.
Translation? It seems like a pretty safe bet that 1-18-08/Cloverfield is actually going to be called Overnight — or that someone wants to make a bunch of hyper-caffeinated movie afficionados think that’s what it’ll be called, which would be sort of a mean trick, but also very funny.
How big is the story? Big enough to land Sciretta on a segment of CNBC’s On the Money. Whether this movie is any good obviously remains to be seen, but even if it turns out to be the worst release of 2008, it’ll be valuable as an example of exactly how to market a film.