A Cloverfield sequel is in the works! But before you go running off screaming over the traumatic memories of The Cloverfield Paradox, the interesting twist here is that for the first time since the 2008 original this is going to be a movie that’s actually designed from the ground up to be a genuine Cloverfield movie.
Most of us already know the history of this still somewhat nascent “shared universe”, but for those who need a refresher: Cloverfield was a 2008 movie shrouded in mystery thanks to the J.J. Abrams mystery box technique that utilized viral marketing in a way we had never seen before. It resulted in an absolute smash hit, earning $80 million domestic and $172 million worldwide. For a January release at that time, of a found footage movie no less with no marketable stars and an at the time no-name director (Matt Reeves), it was huge. Word quickly began whirring of potential sequel options, but nothing materialized.
Until, that is, 2016, when a little movie called Valencia ended up secretly being 10 Cloverfield Lane, a makeshift sequel-ish to Reeves’ movie that was fashioned into the Cloverfield universe after the script had already been written. It was an interesting gamble, again profiting off of Abrams’ knack for marketing and secrecy, and became another big hit.
The trick worked so well that they tried it again with The Cloverfield Paradox, a 2018 film that was so roundly despised that most people have forgotten it ever existed. The most noteworthy thing about it was how quickly it killed people’s interest in whatever this odd experiment they were doing with Cloverfield was, as well as of course the utterly bizarre decision for Paramount to sell the rights to Netflix, who then aired a commercial for the movie during Super Bowl LII where they announced out of nowhere that the movie would be streaming on Netflix immediately after the Super Bowl was over. Unlike the risks taken with those first two movies, this was a Cloverfield gamble that flopped dramatically.
Now that we’re all caught up, we’ve got news on this latest Cloverfield venture, courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter. As could be expected, not much is known at the moment beyond the fact that it exists and is once again being produced by Abrams and Hannah Minghella under Bad Robot.
The one other thing that we do know is that they’ve brought on Joe Barton to write the script. Now, will other people eventually get passes at the script, as these Cloverfield movies have been known to get a ton of work done on them? Time will tell, but hopefully this addition to the series can be a bit more of a streamlined proper sequel, although we do know that it won’t be found footage. Probably a wise choice, given how out of fashion the subgenre has become as of late.
Barton is a name we’ve been hearing quite a bit of lately, namely as the showrunner and head writer for the in the works Gotham City Police Department HBO Max series. Designed to compliment the upcoming Robert Pattinson starring The Batman, directed by none other than Cloverfield director Matt Reeves, this HBO Max series was originally being run by the legendary Terence Winter before he departed due to creative differences. Barton stepped in to replace him, and it seems he may be quite in demand by other studios as well at the moment.
Barton also has an alien invasion movie titled (appropriately) Invasion that he wrote, starring Riz Ahmed and Octavia Spencer, being released sometime presumably in the near future. That should give us a look at what the writer is capable of in this genre, perhaps giving us an indication of the quality we can expect from whatever this Cloverfield sequel ends up being.