UPDATE: A post from the Korean Classification Board lists a Daniel Brühl-starring Bad Robot production submitted by Netflix, adding fuel to the theory the film will premiere on the streaming service.
Netflix is currently in talks to acquire Cloverfield 3 from Paramount Pictures. The long-awaited sci-fi film from Bad Robot Productions marks the third installment in the J.J. Abrams-produced Cloverfield franchise that began with Matt Reeves’ Cloverfield in 2008 and continued with Dan Trachtenberg’s 10 Cloverfield Lane in 2016. But unlike those films, the lead-in to, and production of, Cloverfield 3 has been noticeably different.
Cloverfield 3 (which is rumored to be titled Cloverfield Station) originally went by the name God Particle – an original concept from director Julius Onah and screenwriters Oren Uziel and Doug Jung – which centered on a team of astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) who witness the Earth vanish after a particle accelerator experiment goes awry. As with 10 Cloverfield Lane (which was originally titled The Cellar), God Particle was eventually reworked into a Cloverfield sequel during post-production, but the film’s numerous delays have caused fans to question if it will ever see the light of day. Although Cloverfield 3 is currently slated to release in April, recent rumors indicated that Netflix was interested in acquiring the movie’s global distribution rights, something that has since been confirmed by multiple outlets. And the deal actually has the possibility of going through.
THR confirms that Netflix is in talks to acquire the untitled Cloverfield 3 from Paramount Pictures. If the deal does go through, the film could hit the streaming service much earlier than the movie’s currently-planned April 20 release date.
Although the acquisition may seem like a strange move for the streaming giant, it’s not an unprecedented deal between the two studios. This deal comes on the heels of Netflix acquiring the international distribution rights (barring China) for Alex Garland’s sci-fi thriller, Annihilation, starring Natalie Portman in the titular role. Annihilation is another Paramount film that was picked up by Netflix last month, though the movie is still releasing in theaters domestically in February. That deal makes the new one for Cloverfield 3 all the more likely.
As for why Paramount is suddenly interested in unloading their movies onto Netflix (and potentially other streaming services), the studio’s new chief, Jim Gianopulos (who boarded the studio in spring 2017), is dumping all the movies that may not perform well theatrically against bigger competition, especially in overseas markets. After all, the Cloverfield movies, despite being fan-favorites of many moviegoers, don’t pull in hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide, though they are still financially successful.
Whereas the first two movies were relatively cheap to produce and hauled in decent grosses, Cloverfield 3 had a much higher budget and a more prominent cast, such as Daniel Brühl, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and David Oyelowo. Moreover, THR‘s sources say Abrams was planning on making additional changes to the movie during post-production, but since he’s been preoccupied with developing Star Wars: Episode IX for Lucasfilm, he hasn’t had the time to make the necessary alterations. And so, Paramount reportedly would rather release the movie in its current form than continue to wait.
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