The Cloverfield Paradox, the third movie in the Cloverfield franchise, has recently released on Netflix, but it’s a very different film to the one promised by the original scipt, God Particle.
In 2008, producer J.J. Abrams and director Matt Reeves unleashed a found footage monster movie called Cloverfield, about an attack on New York City, on the world. Fans eagerly took to the film, thanks in part to its engaging characters, and unique filming style that put viewers right into the action (and left a number feeling queasy from the camera movement), but above all the secrecy of it’s carefully-told marketing campaign. And, when there were a lot of unanswered questions about the origin of the monster as well as the fate of humanity at the end, audiences immediately want a sequel.
However, Cloverfield 2 never came. Instead, the franchise eventually grew into what looked to be an anthology. In 2016, a closed room psychological thriller called The Cellar, written by Josh Campbell, Matthew Stucken and Damien Chazelle, was turned into the next film in the franchise under the name 10 Cloverfield Lane. Directed by Dan Trachtenberg, the film tells the story about a woman named Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who wakes up after a car crash in a bunker owned by a man named Howard (John Goodman) who tells her the world outside is uninhabitable. The original script underwent some big changes to make it fit into this new universe.
And now there’s God Particle. Directed by Julius Onah with a script by Oren Uziel, the film’s synopsis originally suggested a film about group of astronauts stranded aboard an international space station after performing a dangerous experiment. The script was chosen to be part of the Cloververse and after reshoots and several changed released dates, it was finally put on Netflix with a new name: The Cloverfield Paradox. However, little of that script remains in the bid to make it fit into the Cloverfield Universe. Here’s what was changed.
This Page: God Particle’s Characters and Premise Was Totally Unlike The Cloverfield Paradox
The Characters In God Particle Were Totally Different
The immediate change from God Particle to The Cloverfield Paradox is the characters. In the original script, the crew consists entirely of American astronauts and Ava Hamilton (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is the only woman aboard the ship called the Dandelion. In The Cloverfield Paradox, Hamilton is one of three women, alongside engineers Tam (Ziyi Zhang) and Mina Jenson (Elizabeth Debicki), who are part of an international crew of astronauts.
This drastically changes the dynamic of the original film; Hamilton, who does not have a husband waiting for her back on Earth, is in a sort of relationship with Kiel (David Oyelowo) which makes the other crew members, especially Mundy (Chris O’Dowd) jealous. As the only woman, Hamilton becomes the butt of a lot of jokes and is also quick to get emotional over situations outside of her control (she cries at least three times).
The crew in God Particle consists of Hamilton, Kiel, Mundy, Monk (John Ortiz), and three additional members who were not in Paradox: Flynn, Martinez, and Cosbi (Volkov is not in the original script). These men are a pivotal part of God Particle; Martinez and Cosbi aren’t just astronauts, they are also members of the US military, unbeknownst to the rest of their crew. There’s also a space dog, a golden retriever named Duke (who, spoiler, dies).
The Plot Setup of God Particle Has No Alternate Dimensions
On a basic premise level, the plot of God Particle and The Cloverfield Paradox are the same; a group of astronauts who are stranded aboard a space station with a particle accelerator who believe they have done something to cause the destruction of the Earth. There’s also war brewing; in the God Particle, the United States is at war with Europe, while in the new version of the film this is changed to Russia in a war against Germany. That is where the similarities end.
In God Particle, the timeline is much longer. After the test of the particle accelerator and the disappearance of the Earth, two months go by where the crew believes they have caused this destruction. There is no damage to the ship, so no repairs are necessary and life goes on as normal, just without the belief that they can ever return home. The crew becomes despondent, resulting to infighting and questioning their faith in science and God. Hamilton goes as far as contemplating throwing herself out of an airlock because she is so afraid of her own safety as the sole female on the ship.
One day, another ship is spotted outside the Dandelion, a spaceship called Lily. This ship has a crew of European astronauts, including Schmidt (Daniel Brühl) and Tam (although in this version Tam is male). The two crews are very wary of each other, but with the Earth gone it is hard to turn away fellow humans. Despite the war that was raging on Earth, they let the Europeans aboard the space station. And from here the differences only get more pronounced.
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