J.J. Abrams may be keeping quiet about Cloverfield 3, but some pretty major story clues can be uncovered thanks to the viral marketing campaign. After years of speculation, a third entry in the sci-fi anthology series is finally coming. Once called God Particle and now expected to be retitled Cloverfield Station, the film is seemingly finally coming with an April 20, 2018 release date (although that could change if rumors of a Netflix purchase are true).
While many are still waiting for a trailer, the marketing has actually already started with the series’ now-classic viral campaign. Cloverfield 3‘s alternate-reality game (ARG) began in mid-January and has slowly expanded to provide a decade-spanning story of corporate wrongdoing, energy revolution, and space stations. Here’s everything we’ve learned so far (with a big hat-tip to the ever-incredible Cloververse subreddit).
This Page: What Happened In Previous Cloverfield ARGs?
What Happened In Cloverfield’s ARG?
While the Cloverfield 3 ARG is currently rather self-standing, a brief overview of what’s happened before will be useful to understand how clues were uncovered and greater meaning.
The viral marketing for Cloverfield began simply with an official website based on the release date, 1-18-08.com (now dead) featuring snapshots from the night, some of which dropped clues towards Slusho, a soft drinks company that’s features across Abrams’ properties (and beyond) that in-universe got its secret ingredient, nectar, from the ocean floor. Slusho was a subsidiary of oil giant Tagruato, who found themselves the target of activist group T.I.D.O. Wave. Their covert operations and the company’s clandestine responses were teased out in vague blog posts and eventually rested on a satellite crash and the destruction of the Chuai station, a rig in the Atlantic ocean that sunk suddenly under mysterious circumstances (shown in several fake news reports). The suggestion in all these is that – as Hud theorized in the film itself – the monster came out of an ocean trench, disturbed by either the drilling or the satellite, and after destroying the station headed to land.
Alongside this, there was a more personal story that linked tangentially into the main narrative. In a series of vlogs, New Yorker Jamie (who is seen passed out at the part near the start of Cloverfield) sent videos to her boyfriend Teddy, one of the more militant members of T.I.D.O., who it appeared had gone missing in some Tagruato-linked circumstances. After the film’s release, a new blog – missingteddyhanssen.blogspot.com – started up that deepened the ongoing confusion and culminated in the reveal of two images that confirmed the monster’s origin.
What Happened In 10 Cloverfield Lane’s ARG?
Things picked up years later with 10 Cloverfield Lane for a smaller, more focused campaign. This time, the focus was on Bold Futura, another Tagruato subsidiary where John Goodman’s Harold Stambler worked. These showed how, even before the alien invasion of that film, he was unhinged, believing in a range of conspiracy theories relating to aliens and the Russians – and, crucially, preparing for an invasion by building an underground bunker. He tried to communicate this to his estranged daughter Megan through her personal website, Funandprettythings.com; he sent repeated survival tips (including directions to a real-life supply kit) and detailed the development of the underground shelter (as well as providing links to a text-based adventure game). This culminated with the alien invasion, sending him underground.
It’s worth noting that while 10 Cloverfield Lane‘s ARG started from the same place as Cloverfield‘s – Tagruato’s website, specifically its “employee of the month” section – the films aren’t narratively connected in any clear way, rather presenting two “first contact” events in what are commonly accepted as separate continuities. This is important to remember for Cloverfield 3 as the connections to prior films (which, as we’ll see, do exist) could be misleading.
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