As every studio in Hollywood continues the battle to find the film with the most potential for a franchise and the franchise with the most potential for longevity, Paramount has quietly begun building on a small but effective universe. Beginning in 2008, the studio launched the low-budget monster romp Cloverfield, with sci-fi maverick J.J. Abrams producing. The film proved a huge success, grossing over $170 million on a tiny $25 million budget.
The success of Cloverfield is the stuff of dreams for any Hollywood studio – a film made for peanuts that was capable of bringing in huge box office tallies. Unsurprisingly, Abrams and co went to work getting a follow up off the ground, which arrived at the start of this year. Although 10 Cloverfield Lane didn’t quite find the commercial success that Cloverfield did, the film was still a big hit and its further expansion of the Cloverfield universe has had fans eager for God Particle – producer J.J. Abrams’ third venture into this spooky and creative series.
Unfortunately, though previously planned for a February 2017 release, God Particle has been delayed. According to Deadline, a third Cloverfield movie - almost certainly God Particle - is now set to arrive in theaters on October 27th, 2017. The arrival of this next Cloverfield film makes good on Paramount's previous claim that there will be a new addition to the series every year, but this move to October makes the wait time between 10 Cloverfield Lane and God Particle closer to 2 years. God Particle is planned as another micro-budgeted Cloverfield installment and like 10 Cloverfield Lane, it's not a direct sequel to its predecessors.
As with all films under the Cloverfield banner, God Particle is well cloaked in mystery, but what we do know is that it takes place in space during the near future. After making a truly horrific discovery, a team of astronauts find their previously held notions of reality challenged and their very survival jeopardized. There’s long been word that God Particle would take place in space. As a matter of fact, back during the promotional campaign for 10 Cloverfield Lane, a space station audio file was discovered by a proactive fan. Though neither of the Cloverfield films have been direct sequels there is a connection that holds them all together and perhaps God Particle will add more to the overall narrative cohesion.
There’s also a chance that given J.J. Abrams past experience on a variety of hit TV series’, The Force Awakens director is attempting to give the Cloverfield franchise more of a overarching, episodic feel. Whereas traditional sequels typically follow one another, the plan for Cloverfield could be to create something in which each installment gives away fragments of the overall puzzle at a time. The discoveries made during God Particle could answer important questions about the origins of the otherworldly life forms that have plagued previous Cloverfield films.
One upside to having a longer wait for God Particle's release is that there will be more time for the clever and engaging marketing campaign that has become Paramount's signature with this franchise. Both Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane had campaigns that made fans active participants in the ongoing Cloverfield puzzle - and with God Particle, these sorts of challenges just might be amplified as the mystery continues to expand.
Cloverfield 3/God Particle opens in U.S. theaters on October 27th, 2017.