J.J. Abrams continues to make his imprint on the Hollywood system. In recent years, he has largely been involved in bringing back two beloved sci-fi franchises. He directed Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness before handing the reigns off to Justin Lin so he could turn his attention to making Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. While he is also involved in the Mission: Impossible franchise as a producer now, he and his production studio Bad Robot have begun to make a name for themselves with their smaller projects.
Cloverfield really kicked things off for the studio in 2008, where they have since followed up with films like Super 8, Infinitely Polar Bear, and 10 Cloverfield Lane. This year will see them debut God Particle – which is possibly the third Cloverfield film – in addition to serving as producers on Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi. Now, they have named a director for an upcoming project.
Variety is reporting that Son of a Gun director Julius Avery is set to direct a project by the name of Overlord. It’s described as a supernatural WWII film that follows two paratroopers. Their mission will be sabotaging a German tower during D-Day, but their foes include more than just Nazis. The twist here is the soldiers will also discover supernatural forces are working against them. Given the outlandish description and Bad Robot’s past, speculation has already started that this could be part of Bad Robot’s desired Cloverfield universe and truly be Cloverfield 4 in disguise.
Bad Robot has taken a similar approach that they appear to be taking with Overlord to make their Cloverfield universe. As an example, 10 Cloverfield Lane previously operated under the title of The Cellar and had the same basic plot as is laid out in the film. However, the ending of 10 Cloverfield Lane in conjunction with the title made it clear that the film was actually a member of the Cloverfield world.
In addition to the plot, Bad Robot also has a track record of hiring up and coming directors for their Cloverfield films such as Matt Reeves (who has since climbed the ranks), Dan Trachtenberg, and Julius Onah. Avery certainly fits into this mold and could be the latest director to receive the benefits that can come with making a Cloverfield film.
It would not be surprising to learn sometime before Overlord‘s release that the supernatural threat in play is another set of aliens/monsters as seen before. If this does happen, it would be surprising for the WWII setting to remain because of the implications that has for the Cloverfield world, but Bad Robot is likely more concerned with making great monster films than worrying about the continuity of it all. That said, there is possibility this is simply just Overlord and not Cloverfield 4, but only time will tell what the truth behind the project is.
Overlord is currently in development and does not have a release date.