There may have been two movies under the Cloverfield brand since the J.J. Abrams-produced found-footage monster movie in 2008 - and two more on the way - but we're still waiting for a proper sequel. Cloverfield took the box office by storm a decade ago. With an incomparably successful viral marketing campaign and a modern, unique slant on the genre, Cloverfield was a critical and commercial success, propelling director Matt Reeves and writer Drew Goddard into the cinematic A-List. Needless to say, thoughts quickly turned to a potential sequel and the creative team publicly mused upon the idea of either showing the same event from a different perspective or fleshing out the backstory of the Clover monster.
In reality, neither came to fruition and fans had largely given up hope for a Cloverfield 2 when out of nowhere, 10 Cloverfield Lane sneaked onto the radar. Despite being a successful movie in its own right, 10 Cloverfield Lane bore little resemblance to its supposed predecessor - something that perhaps shouldn't come as a surprise considering the movie was originally envisioned as a standalone feature called The Cellar and later re-worked into the Cloverfield franchise.
Many Cloverfield fans might have been hoping that a third installment would bridge the gap, answering the many questions lingering after the conclusion of Lane. However, the impending third installment, Cloverfield Station, was also originally conceived as an unrelated story known as God Particle. With details surrounding this forthcoming threequel scarce - Abrams' trademark secrecy remains strong in 2018 - there is a chance that Cloverfield 3 will follow on more directly from the original movie. Alas, given that the project is another re-worked effort it appears that the franchise will be continuing in the same anthology style.
While there are certainly benefits to this approach, they all distract from the difficult truth: the original Cloverfield deserves a traditional sequel.
This Page: How The Cloverfield Franchise Changed
Page 2: Why A Sequel Would Be Better Than An Anthology
How The Cloverfield Franchise Changed
It's difficult to discern exactly why the traditional sequel route was never taken with Cloverfield. Both Reeves and Goddard seemed keen on continuing the story and even as late as 2012, it was suggested in interviews that the duo and J. J. Abrams merely needed to sync up their schedules and hammer out a definitive plan for Cloverfield 2. Obviously, there was a change of heart somewhere along the line. Quite what is unclear, although Abrams did suggest while on promotional duties for 10 Cloverfield Lane that the release of movies such as Pacific Rim and the rebooted Godzilla pushed him away from the Kaiju movie format and towards something entirely new.
In an increasingly repetitive industry, any attempt at a unique approach should be commended but, naturally, risks are prone to failure and while 10 Cloverfield Lane was a fantastic and gripping standalone movie, the idea of it being a "spiritual successor" to Cloverfield ended up being its biggest flaw. Many fans might've spent the majority of the movie mentally trying to connect the dots to the original when, in actual fact, there were precious few dots to connect without thoroughly exploring the viral marketing campaign for clues. Others were perhaps anticipating the appearance of a giant monster, but when the science fiction elements do eventually arrive, the devastation that greets protagonist Michelle is courtesy of a bio-mechanical race of sentient aliens - a threat that is almost unrecognizable from the first Cloverfield movie.
There are plenty of online theories that attempt to explain how the Cloververse is connected using the information contained in the franchise's various online material and its manga spinoff, and some are extremely well thought-out. It's somewhat telling, however, that had the word "Cloverfield" not been in the title, most fans might never have guessed that 10 Cloverfield Lane was connected to the Matt Reeves' 2008 movie. In truth, 10 Cloverfield Lane may have actually played out more smoothly, as audiences wouldn't have gone in with any pre-conceived expectations. The anthology idea was the twist, and it came somewhat out of nowhere.
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