While it’s easy to be cynical about Paramount and J.J. Abrams’ attempt to make a franchise off of Cloverfield, to be honest, I think it’s actually kind of cool. An anthology series all sharing the same title, but exploring very different areas of sci-fi/horror, is something we haven’t really seen done on a cinematic level, with this strategy clearly having more in common with TV shows like The Twilight Zone and Black Mirror than the Marvel Cinematic Universe or Star Wars franchises. And, sure, it might be a little bit sad that Paramount has to franchise these original sci-fi stories in order for them to sell…but if that’s the only way they can find success, then creating this “Cloverfield” umbrella seems to be, at worst, a necessary evil.
And, hey, the two installments in the anthology series have both been GREAT so far, so that’s certainly a big plus. The first Cloverfield remains incredible (but more about that in the next few weeks), and 2016’s 10 Cloverfield Lane is one of my favorite things to come out of a major studio in quite a while. Consider me on board for whatever this franchise wants to throw at me next…which, at this point, seems to be the long-gestating The Art Formerly Known As God Particle, Now Currently Known As “Untitled Cloverfield Sequel,” But More Commonly Known As Cloverfield 3. It’s a bit of a mouthful, but something tells me it will get a snappier title down the line.
Anywho, like 10 Cloverfield Lane before it, Cloverfield 3 originally started life as an entirely different project entitled God Particle. Abrams put the film into development just based on its concept alone, in which a group of astronauts accidentally cause the planet Earth to disappear after an experiment with a particle accelerator goes awry (whoops!) The film attracted one hell of a cast with folks like Daniel Brühl, Elizabeth Debicki, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Chris O’Dowd, David Oyelowo, Aksel Hennie, John Ortiz, and Zhang Ziyi all on board. With a script from 22 Jump Street’s Oren Uziel, this one looked like quite the promising sci-fi project in the making. With anticipation high, production began for the film in early 2016, and completed in September of that year.
And, then…it was gone. We didn’t hear anything about God Particle for months, until it was removed from Paramount’s release calendar altogether…coincidentally at the same time an untitled Cloverfield sequel was dated for October 27, 2017. It didn’t take long for the internet to the connect the dots, and put together that the project once known as God Particle was now (as we all kind of assumed it would ultimately be) a Cloverfield movie. And yet we still heard nothing from the actual film, and didn’t all the way until Paramount delayed the film once more to February 2, 2018 last July. And then, radio silence again for another six months, to the point that many began questioning whether or not it was actually coming out within the next six weeks.
We now know the answer, as /Film confirms that the film has been pushed back a third time, with Cloverfield 3 or God Particle or Whatever now set for a release on April 20, 2018. That’s a few months back from its most recent date, but still enough time to show that the project probably isn’t in that much trouble…I hope, at least. This being a Cloverfield movie, it’s hard to say when exactly we’ll actually get footage for the film — maybe January 18, in time for the 10th anniversary of the first film? Or sometime in February, with a timetable similar to 10 Cloverfield Lane’s marketing strategy? Maybe the day before the film actually comes out, because J.J. Abrams is a bold, bold man? Eh…probably not the last one, but the fact the possibility of that happening ISN’T zero certainly says something.
In any case, I really want to see a trailer or something for this enticing project. But, at this point, seeing the damn thing actually get released probably takes precedence. Let’s hope the third release date is the charm here.
Also published on Medium.