The Cloverfield Paradox almost included a bizarre easter egg tying it directly to 10 Cloverfield Lane. The Cloverfield franchise has become known for its unconventional release strategy. The teaser for the original movie suddenly appeared in cinemas without even revealing the title, leading to a feeding frenzy of online speculation. Then in 2016 a trailer suddenly appeared for 10 Cloverfield Lane – a sequel nobody even knew was being made.
Producer J.J. Abrams continued that trend with The Cloverfield Paradox, with the film being released straight to Netflix mere hours after the trailer was released. Unlike the first two entries, however, the film has received mostly lukewarm reviews, with many finding the story messy and the pacing dull. The film sat on Paramount’s shelf for awhile, with the studio apparently being concerned it would bomb if released theatrically. The Netflix tactic worked out well for all involved; Netflix paid Paramount $50 million for the movie, and in exchange, they received a high-profile exclusive guaranteed to pull in viewers.
The Cloverfield Paradox contains references and easter eggs connecting it to previous movies, but Abrams revealed in an interview on the Empire podcast that he had to cut one of his favorites, where the main characters see Stambler’s (John Goodman) truck from 10 Cloverfield Lane in an odd place.
During the spacewalk sequence and all this debris is flying around, there was a truck that was going around. And it was from 10 Cloverfield Lane, it was Stambler’s truck. But it was one of those things that once again, some people called it out as being too crazy, I loved it, because I thought it was just so bonkers, but some people felt it was too distracting, I thought it was amazing.
Abrams and director Julius Onah also confirmed other pieces of connective tissues, revealing the conspiracy theorist in The Cloverfield Paradox named Stambler was an intentional nod to John Goodman’s character, and the monster in the final shot is the same one from the original Cloverfield.
Abrams: It’s the same creature. But definitely bigger.
Onah: I mean it was a baby in the first one, so maybe it started eating its Wheaties and grew a little bit.
The Cloverfield Paradox reveals the events of previous movies are the results of an experiment that opened rifts in time and space, which even cross over to alternate realities. This plot device will seemingly allow the franchise to jump around in time, and not have to worry about continuity. Abrams has already stated he sees the Cloverfield movies as spiritual sequels instead of following a strict timeline, so this reveal should allow for a flexible, anthology approach.
That said, the mixed response to The Cloverfield Paradox may have done damage to the brand. The next movie in the series is dubbed Overlord, and is set during World War 2, where soldiers try to stop a supernatural Nazi experiment. Abrams has already labeled the movie ‘crazy,’ so hopefully, it will make up for any disappointment fans felt with Paradox.
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