As much of the geeky-gened moviegoing world tries to decode the mysteries of Cloverfield, obsessively connecting the push-pin dots on bulletin boards covered in maps and radioactive monster imagery, our friends at LAist had the novel idea to approach director Matt Reeves directly. It turns out he was extremely forthcoming, offering oodles of fanboynip, including background on the project's history, its buzzy, pre-Transformers trailer, and even the origins of its ambiguous title that sounds like a margarine brand:
LAist: Tell us the real story behind the title Cloverfield?
Matt Reeves: When we started the project there was going to be an announcement in the trades. In this case, they wanted to keep everything under wraps. So the movie was going to be made under this outside corporation that was basically a property of Paramount. That corporation had a name that I don't know the name of. I think Clover was the first part of it. Maybe it was Cloverdale. When Drew [Goddard, LOST writer] was putting a name to the project, there was supposed to be a name for the project like there was for The Manhattan Project. So he said, "I am going to use that weird mysterious thing," and he misheard it. He didn't even understand that it wasn't Cloverfield, it was Cloverdale. Maybe that was because of the street by J.J.'s old office, but the truth is he just misunderstood it.
Mystery solved: The movie was named after a misnomered incorporation, possibly inspired by a mid-Wilshire avenue near J.J. Abrams's old production offices, and not because the sum of the numeric value of the letters in Cloverfield equaled 169, i.e. the number of nipples on the underside of H. P. Lovecraft's mythical beast, the Cthulhu.