UPDATED: /Film has followed up the story and their sources say that Overlord is indeed Cloverfield 4.
We’re yet to even get a trailer for the third entry in the franchise, but it looks like J.J. Abrams may have already made Cloverfield 4. The Cloverfield series is certainly a strange one. Starting off as a viral-marketing found-footage monster film, it eschewed the conventional sequel and – after an eight-year gap – instead pivoted with 10 Cloverfield Lane into being an anthology series featuring twists on classic sub-genres.
Quite what Cloverfield “is” will be defined in the next few months with the release of the third entry. Once known as God Particle, the currently untitled Cloverfield 3 will follow the crew of a space station after their experimentation sees Earth disappear and them stranded in space. With it still unclear if the film will make its April release date or will drop earlier on Netflix (and still no trailer), all speculation is on this project, but it’s possible more is on the way. Back in 2016, it was reported Paramount’s plan was for a Cloverfield movie every year, and looking at their producing slate, that next entry may have already been filmed.
Related: Here’s What Cloverfield 3 Is About
While they’re not narratively connected, all Cloverfield films have a few, immovable properties; they’re all Bad Robot projects, all distributed by Paramount (Netflix-pending), all produced by J.J. Abrams (with Lindsey Weber working on the two 2010s releases so far), and above all dominated by overbearing secrecy. We’ve also come to expect them to be high-concept sci-fi based on strong scripts from up-and-coming directors. And it just so happens there is another film that fits all of these categories: Overlord.
Overlord is a Bad Robot film produced by Abrams and Weber, and set to be released by Paramount Pictures in October 26, 2018. It’s directed by Julius Avery, whose previous film was festival curio Son of a Gun, and the story involves American soldiers (one played by Wyatt Russell, with the film also starring Bokeem Woodbine and Pilou Asbæk) discovering Hitler is using supernatural forces to halt the D-Day invasion. The period angle is new, but in terms of box-ticking, that’s pretty much everything you need to be a Cloverfield film.
Is Overlord really Cloverfield 4? We can’t say for certain, but God Particle was suspected to be Cloverfield 3 on a similar amount of evidence, and as this is a film from a major production studio/distributor, we’ve heard very little considering it’s out in nine months and shot over a half a year ago. Yes, that’s right: Overlord is in the can. It started filming in May 2017, and given the size of the production will have been wrapped up in a month or two. That’s a level of secrecy we only really expect from Cloverfield.
Presuming this is indeed Cloverfield 4, then, it stands to reason that the film will be pushed back until 2019, fitting of the discussed annual structure. That said, it would certainly be fitting for it to drop suddenly in Fall 2018, giving us two movies we never expected in a year (especially fitting if the Netflix talk goes through).
Whatever happens, this underlying predictability is a danger that Cloverfield needs to adapt to going forward. Abrams can no longer keep these projects a secret until the trailer drops, removing the “they made an entire movie in secret” shock that defined the first two movies. For the franchise to remain successful going forward, a new approach is needed. And that’s only to be expected; what Cloverfield really is is an experiment in hype and the balance between production, marketing and release – or, put simply, a meta-perfection of the Mystery Box.
This may be where the God Particle on Netflix angle comes in, but who knows what the twist for Overlord is.
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