At Cinemacon, producer J.J. Abrams offered an update about “Overlord” to audiences. While the cast, director and plot summary remain in tact, Abrams denies that his upcoming historical horror film is part of the Cloverfield universe. Now, this could all be a ruse to distract audiences but Abrams did say that a proper Cloverfield sequel would be hitting the big screen “soon” and that Overlord is very much it’s own, R rated thing (an apparent first for Bad Robot). So why the sudden shift? It could be that Overlord was never meant to be part of the sci-fi universe that is Cloverfield, or that the poor reception to The Cloverfield Paradox has Abrams and company shifting the attention of this movie away from the franchise for the time being. Time will (maybe) tell.
Original story follows.
The other day, I wrote about the possibility of seeing a teaser trailer for God Particle (A.K.A. Cloverfield 3, possibly A.K.A. Cloverfield Station) at this year’s Superbowl. While that film has yet to see the light of day and its distribution is up in the air, we’re getting word that there’s a fourth Cloverfield movie out there and that the J.J. Abrams’ produced anthology film is already done filming.Yeah, you read that right. These guys really like to be secretive about their filming schedules, don’t they? While the production may have been largely a secret to us, the veil has now been pulled aside and we’re getting our first look at the upcoming film. Titled Overlord (for now), this Cloverfield entry will be directed by Julius Avery and will star Wyatt Russell and Jovan Adepo. We also have a plot synopsis, which reveals that the science fiction film will be set during the Second World War. This is intriguing as it completely sets it apart from God Particle, where the action will be set entirely in a space station. Check it the synopsis here:
“On the eve of D-Day, American paratroopers are dropped behind enemy lines to carry out a mission crucial to the invasion’s success. But as they approach their target, they begin to realize there is more going on in this Nazi-occupied village than a simple military operation. They find themselves fighting against supernatural forces, part of a Nazi experiment.”
The story actually seems to have more in common with classic Wolfenstein than it does Cloverfield, which interests me. How does the alien mythology set up in the last two films tie into the events of World War II? We do know that the events of all the Cloverfield films don’t per say tie into the same film universe, making them all stand-alone films for the time being thanks to comments from 10 Cloverfield Lane director Dan Trachtenberg. Perhaps something in the 1940s created these multiple timelines? Or perhaps these films are all just loosely connected and don’t have an impact on each other at all.
So what happens next? The first Cloverfield film, directed by War of the Planet of the Apes guru Matt Reeves, was released way back in 2008. We heard nothing from the series until 2016 when the surprise out-of-nowhere sequel came out. It was more a spin-off than a sequel, however, offering a different style, direction, and feeling than its predecessor. Now we have word of potentially two more films coming out this year. Should we start expecting a Cloverfield film every year soon?
It seems likely that we’re seeing the beginning of a planned “Clover-verse”. What started with 10 Cloverfield Lane seems to be taking off with Bad Robot and Netflix seems intrigued! Apparently, Paramount is interested in selling the rights to the franchise to Netflix, making us wonder how God Particle/Cloverfield Station would be released. Could J.J., Bad Robot and Netflix come together every year or every other year, hire an up and coming indie director and crank out another Cloverfield film? I’m sure they could, should they, is another matter. 10 Cloverfield Lane was an amazing film and I have high hopes for these upcoming entries, Overlord in particular. If done right, we could have an extremely unique cinematic universe that encourages artistic freedom while also not worrying about setting up future films. I for one, want to see where this goes! What about you?