The third instalment in J.J. Abrams’ rapidly-expanding Cloverfield franchise has arrived – seemingly out of nowhere – on Netflix.
Abrams pulled a fast-one with the release of The Cloverfield Paradox, with an announcement during Super Bowl LII that revealed the film would be available to watch on Netflix immediately after the game.
Speculation had been rife that work was ongoing on a secret Cloverfield sequel, with the project originally operating under the title God Particle. However, those claims remained unconfirmed – until now.
The movie was also originally scheduled for a cinematic release, prior to Netflix’s involvement, prompting more confusion when it was pulled from its planned release date and not given a new one..
It’s not the first time Abrams has pulled a fast one on Cloverfield fans – two years ago he surprised audiences everywhere with the arrival of 10 Cloverfield Lane.
Directed by Julius Onah and boasting a cast that includes Daniel Bruhl, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo and Chris O’Dowd, The Cloverfield Paradox looks set to bring the previous two entries together.
Serving as a prequel-of-sorts, the film takes the action into space for an inter-dimensional horror fest that looks like it owes plenty to films like Event Horizon, Alien and last year’s memorable sci-fi effort, Life.
This may not be the last fans have seen of the Cloverfield universe either, with discussions already in place over a fourth potential film in the franchise.
One idea previously floated would see the action head back to the 1940s and Nazi Germany, where a group of soldiers would encounter some of the inter-dimensional monsters that appear in the Cloverfield movies.
Rumours are already rife that a script for the movie already exists and could go into production once studio bosses are able to assess the impact of The Cloverfield Paradox.
Given the success enjoyed by critically-derided efforts from the likes of Adam Sandler and Will Smith on the streaming service, a follow-up looks a distinct possibility at this stage.
Smith’s fantasy buddy cop effort, Bright, for example was panned as one of the worst films of 2017 but scored big with audiences and earned itself a sequel in the process.
Regardless of whether The Cloverfield Paradox fares well with the critics (it hasn’t) this could ultimately come down to the fans appetite for more.