It was revealed to the public just two months before its release that J.J. Abrams had produced 10 Cloverfield Lane, which stars John Goodman, Mary Wlizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher Jr.

John Goodman, Mary Wlizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher Jr. star in 10 Cloverfield Lane

"I was surprised every time that people asked me about a sequel," Abrams says of comments about Cloverfield over the past eight years. "I've always thought it's so cool that people cared enough about that movie to want more of it. I knew there was something out there that could justify a continuation, but I didn't want to do the thing that people might expect just for the sake of it. And I know I'm guilty as anyone of being involved in sequels and remakes and reboots and things!"

The release of big Hollywood monster movies like Pacific Rim (2013) and Godzilla (2014) made Abrams pause about continuing the Cloverfield saga. Instead, he decided to spring another surprise on audiences. "The fun of this was to do something with a very short-term wait, an unexpected around-the-corner movie," he says. "I'm so grateful that it didn't slip out. We were talking about releasing the title a little bit earlier, but the whole idea is to have the most fun we can. And it's incredibly fun any time you can to do the unexpected and ignore the template. With Cloverfield, we released a trailer for a film no-one had heard of, so we thought if we could do that again on this one, it would be a fun way to get people interested. It's a movie that's worth the attention."

And he stresses that while there are connections between the two films, 10 Cloverfield Lane isn't a sequel or spin-off. "It's not called Cloverfield 2 for a reason," he says. "It's a really beautifully told and very scary story. A lot of scary movies simply use gore as fear, this movie uses fear as fear. I feel like this is a scarier movie in a lot of ways. I also feel like it couldn't be more different. This was an opportunity to do something that is more rare than it should be in Hollywood films, which is to tell an original story. This felt like an opportunity to do something that was both wholly original and also connected to something bigger."

Watch the trailer for 10 Cloverfield Lane: