Fans are still reeling from the surprise release of the third Cloverfield film on Netflix, The Cloverfield Paradox, but there may already be a Cloverfield 5 on the horizon. What started out in 2008 as a singular found footage monster movie has turned into a franchise of loosely connected anthology films. There’s the classic monsters-take-Manhattan Cloverfield, the psychological thriller 10 Cloverfield Lane, the sci-fi horror film The Cloverfield Paradox, and the now confirmed fourth Cloverfield film, the World War II-set Overlord.
The Cloverfield Paradox opened up a whole new realm of stories that could enter the universe. Indeed, it now makes sense how a period war movie like Overlord could fit into the larger universe. Set for release in October of this year, the film tells the story of two Paratroopers (Wyatt Russell and Jovan Adepo) who encounter supernatural forces while trying to sabotage a German tower during D-Day. These forces could come as a result of the Cloverfield Station mission, allowing everything to fall into place for a potential fifth film.
In 2016, producer J.J. Abrams announced his production company, Bad Robot, was making a supernatural drama titled Kolma. The film is based on a 2003 Israeli TV movie titled All I’ve Got (Kol Ma She’Yesh Li), about a man who dies in a car accident and waits for his girlfriend on the other side. When she dies she must decide if she wants to return to the day of the accident and relive her life or reunite with her lost love. Daisy Ridley has been attached to star in the film directed by Marielle Heller with a script by Megan Holley.
Could Kolma be the next film in the Cloverfield franchise? It shares a lot of DNA with the other films in the universe. First of all, it’s a Bad Robot production, produced by Abrams and distributed by Paramount like all of the other films (Cloverfield Paradox was only distributed by Netflix after it was acquired by the streaming site). Heller is a recently new director whose credits include some TV and the film The Diary of a Teenage Girl, as well as the upcoming Mr. Rogers biopic starring Tom Hanks. Holley is known for writing Sunshine Cleaning, a quirky drama about two women who work cleaning up crime scenes. Both women are just the kind of up-and-coming talent who are usually part of these Cloverfield films. And, of course, it’s a strange sci-fi genre riff like all the previous movies.
UPDATE: There’s also some potential ARG connection. A reddit user has pointed out that the latest part of The Cloverfield Paradox‘s viral marketing included an audio file that mentioned “a local Israeli archaeologist”, possibly connecting to Kolma.
What’s conspicuous is who’s absent. Lindsey Weber has produced every confirmed Cloverfield since the original, making it look like she was the new custodian of the series. She’s not attached to Kolma, which may reveal a disconnect and open up the alternate possibility this is just a custom-made project by Abrams for his self-discovered Star Wars star.
The franchise could have an impact here too. With Abrams and Ridley both busy on Episode IX film, that’s going to severly impact Kolma‘s development (unlike Overlord, this hasn’t filmed yet). Paramount had originally planned on releasing one Cloverfield film a year. With The Cloverfield Paradox already on Netflix and Overlord set to release in the Fall, 2018 could see two of these films, so this is hardly a problem, but again diverges from the presumed plan. That said, if Overlord is pushed back to 2019 to change some things around to better explain the Cloververse, then Kolma could be released in 2020, giving Ridley and Abrams enough time to wrap Star Wars 9.
The Cloverfield Paradox proved that the hype surrounding the name is not enough to make a successful film. Fans want inventive and cohesive storytelling with substance, not just sci-fi monsters sprinkled on top. Hopefully, Overlord can help turn the series around and pave the way for whatever “Cloverfield 5” comes next.