We’re still not 100% clear on what exactly the so-called “Cloververse” is (is it an anthology, a shared universe, a little of both?), but after the 2016 revival via 10 Cloverfield Lane, it’s expanding at a pretty rapid clip.
Cloverfield has always taken a bit of an experimental approach. The first film in 2008 was an audacious exercise in mystery crafting. Eschewing a traditional marketing approach, the film was introduced via a very memorable surprise teaser trailer that didn’t even reveal the name of the movie. This paved the way for an expansive viral marketing campaign that stretched across several websites and Myspace profiles, all of which was wrapped up in a suffocating amount of secrecy and subterfuge. The bold strategy paid off though, and Cloverfield was a minor pop culture phenomenon when it was eventually released.
About eight years later, a second Cloverfield installment was revealed, and its journey to theaters wasn’t any more typical. The film started out as a script titled The Cellar, but prior to production, producer JJ Abrams and team reworked it into a sort of followup to Cloverfield, with the how and why of it all left a mystery.
With the success of both of those films, Abrams’s Bad Robot production company is already deep into not one, but apparently two distinct Cloverfield entries.
Cloverfield 4: Overlord
Today, Slashfilm confirmed that not only is a fourth Cloverfield entry happening, but it’s surprisingly already finished production. That’s because, in true Cloverfield fashion, its status as an entry in the series was kept under wraps.
It was first announced in February 2017, under the title Overlord, as a kind of supernaturally infused WWII story. A few months later, a cast was announced, alongside a synopsis:
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.
Now we know that it’s being positioned as the fourth installment in the Cloververse (at what point in the process it became a Cloverfield film is still unknown though).
How and even if it connects back to the previous two is still very much a mystery. 10 Cloverfield Lane played around with audience expectations in some very fun ways before ultimately revealing itself to be (as far as we know) unrelated to the events of the original. That being said, its own viral marketing campaign made several explicit connections between details found in both movies.
Abrams has previously hinted that there’s a “bigger concept” in mind that may be revealed over time:
“The association [between Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane] is clear and there are multiple connections – and there is a bigger idea at play for us with these movies and this connection… that if we’re lucky enough to get to do I think could result in something pretty cool.”
It’s likely that we’ll get a better idea of how far the Cloververse swings between anthology and shared universe when the third one arrives later this year.
Cloverfield 3 to be Revealed at the Super Bowl?
Speaking of which, in a smaller bit of news, Deadline is reporting that the rumored deal to bring the third Cloverfield to Netflix may be close to finalized, and that a trailer announcing the news could be arriving at the Super Bowl later this weekend. There’s no confirmation yet, but it’s a pretty plausible idea.
As of now, the film still does not even have a confirmed title (the Cloververse works in mysterious ways, etc.), although for a while, it was being referred to as God Particle. That shifted to a more generic placeholder title late last year, and in January, Screenrant uncovered evidence that it may have been re-titled Cloverfield Station.
The last we heard of it, the story revolved around astronauts assigned to the international space station when some kind of experiment goes terribly wrong.
A team of astronauts aboard an international space station find themselves alone after a scientific experiment involving a particle accelerator makes the Earth vanish. When a space shuttle appears, the space station crew must fight for survival following their horrible discovery.
Cloverfield 3/God Particle/Cloverfield Station was recently pushed back to April 20, 2018. Overlord was previously set for a October 26, 2018 release date, and as far as we know, that’s still the plan, meaning that this year, we could very well have a pair of Cloverfield installments.