What's going on with the Cloverfield sequel and the rest of the franchise? When the first Cloverfield burst onto the scene in 2008, it immediately earned a cult following as well as keen interest. Since then, two more films have arrived that have helped to expand the world of Cloverfield, answering a few burning questions and delivering some truly heart-stopping action. There is still enough interest to keep this franchise chugging along, but what is actually happening with the future of Cloverfield? Are there more films coming? Is it totally kaput?
Telling the story of a seemingly undefeatable alien race hellbent on dominating Earth and eradicating its inhabitants, the Cloverfield story has taken fans, for better or worse, in very interesting directions. With the beloved J.J. Abrams backing the Cloverfield franchise through his production company, Bad Robot, the Cloverfield films have had no trouble finding a place in theaters and on Netflix. This has allowed tons of people to engage with this compelling story and help keep the demand for more alive and well in 2019.
With this demand in mind, it's time to look ahead to the future. There are still plenty of directions this story can go in, be it teaming up surviving Cloverfield characters or presenting viewers with a new piece of the puzzle and introducing a different cast in the process. Abrams is still attached as a producer, which is a good sign for a franchise that has to restore a lot of faith in its audience after the third film, The Cloverfield Paradox, nearly ended the franchise after being critically panned. But where's the franchise at today?
The Cloverfield Plan So Far
As it stands, the Cloverfield franchise is currently made up of three films - Cloverfield, 10 Cloverfield Lane, and The Cloverfield Paradox - with markedly different styles and tones. Cloverfield was a found-footage film focused on the aliens rising up from the ocean and taking over the land; 10 Cloverfield Lane was a claustrophobic thriller showing the aftermath of the alien invasion and detailing what life is like for the survivors; The Cloverfield Paradox follows in the tradition of previous space-set horror-thrillers, hinting at the existence of multiple universes in the process, as well as another universe connected through space and time. The connective tissue between all of them is the existence of the same mysterious, monstrous aliens which have taken over Earth.
The Cloverfield franchise as a whole has done decent work of introducing audiences to the general concept of an alien invasion and using different kinds of devices (a found-footage film, a film mostly contained in an underground bunker, and a film in the confines of space but spanning a multiverse) to help unpack it. But if the future of this franchise is going full-steam ahead, fans will need to see some clarification on the timeline of events, the origins of the alien monsters, and how they can be defeated. There is still a long way to go in making sure the Cloverfield lore and story really scans - something that can hopefully be achieved with a fourth Cloverfield movie.
A Proper Cloverfield Sequel Is In Development
Following the disappointing reception of The Cloverfield Paradox in February 2018, Paramount confirmed a proper Cloverfield sequel was in the works. The next Cloverfield film was confirmed at CinemaCon 2018, with Paramount's official comment being they were developing a "true" and "dedicated" sequel. Abrams also qualified that the new Cloverfield film would be coming "very soon" but no specific time frame was mentioned. The wording of Paramount's CinemaCon comment gives fans reason to believe the next Cloverfield film will deliver more answers to questions raised in the first film from 2008, including what happened after the events in New York City and more clarification on the origins of the franchise's monsters since The Cloverfield Paradox's ending left that a bit muddled. It's unclear if production of any kind, be it casting news or Abrams confirming the script is nearly finished, has begun on the still-untitled Cloverfield sequel.
Is The Franchise In Danger of Ending?
Abrams' production company, Bad Robot, has a deal with Paramount Pictures. That deal will end in March 2020, leaving less than a year before things get really dicey for Bad Robot and the projects housed therein. According to Variety, as of June 2019, Abrams is currently courting two major studios to sign with: WarnerMedia and Apple. WarnerMedia would offer Abrams the option to work on projects for streaming and theatrical - and it's doesn't hurt that Abrams has a pre-existing relationship with Warner Bros. TV through a deal signed in 2006 but due to run out in 2019. On the other hand, Apple can offer Abrams the opportunity to expand deeper into the streaming world and return to his TV roots.
As Abrams looks for a new studio to sign with, the future of the franchise begins to look somewhat uncertain. We know that at least one more Cloverfield film - the aforementioned Cloverfield 4 - is going forward with Abrams signed on to write and produce. Beyond this, with Abrams' business future still unclear, the rights to the Cloverfield franchise also hang in the balance. Because Abrams has been so integral in getting the Cloverfield films to market and has involvement in the fourth film beyond just producing, he certainly has the negotiating power to take it with him when Bad Robot inevitably parts ways with Paramount. That is, of course, unless Bad Robot wholly owns the Cloverfield rights and Paramount only retains the option to distribute.
It's anyone's guess what lies beyond Cloverfield 4. The Cloverfield Paradox left fans of the franchise extremely disappointed with where the story was taken, so the next film will have to do double duty of telling a compelling story that makes sense within the Cloverfield world and make sure it restores faith with fans. If Cloverfield 4 can stick the landing on both these points (and stay in the hands of Abrams and Bad Robot), then we could see more Cloverfield movies in the future.