WARNING: Minor spoilers for Overlord.
Is Overlord a Cloverfield movie? Not exactly, but it certainly could have connected to J.J. Abrams' sci-fi horror series. Overlord is an original story from Billy Ray, with a script from Ray and Mark L. Smith, but several clues suggest how it could connect to rampaging sea monsters, alien invasions and space station crises.
Directed by Julius Avery, Overlord is set against the backdrop of the 1944 D-Day landings, following a team of soldiers set to destroy a church being used to jam Allied broadcasts. After a horrific crash landing, the survivors discover there's a lot more in the church than radio equipment: nefarious Nazi experiments are turning people into mutated zombies, leading to a fight to bring down the promise of a 1000-year Reich.
Related: Read Our Overlord Review
As a standalone movie, Overlord is spot-on: it's a polished B-movie that treats the real-life side of its horrors with respect while relishing the more ridiculous endgame. But Overlord isn't viewed as just a standalone movie. Even after its evil has been defeated, the question remains: how could it be a Cloverfield movie?
Was Overlord Ever A Cloverfield Movie?
Over the past decade, as well as having a hand in Abrams' Star Trek and Star Wars reboots, Bad Robot has built up the Cloverfield franchise, converting previously unrelated scripts to fit into some warped universe. At first, it was believed that Cloverfield was an anthology series - 10 Cloverfield Lane seemed to take place in a different world to the found footage monster movie Cloverfield. However, The Cloverfield Paradox changed that, revealing infinite parallel dimensions similar to our own except with all manner of horrific monsters brought over by a dangerous space experiment.
Whether Overlord is part of this Cloverfield shared universe has been debated since before Paradox even released; it shared producers and origin, as well as a foot firmly sci-fi horror genre. However, despite being initially confirmed as Cloverfield 4, Abrams has said it isn't, with Avery (via IGN) clarifying that that was never the plan. The truth behind those claims is dubious - Cloverfield thrives on secrecy, and previous movies have changed title in most cases after production - but, nevertheless, it's now clear Overlord isn't a Cloverfield film. But it oh so easily could have been.
How Overlord Can Be A Cloverfield Film
The Cloverfield Paradox's creation of a proper Cloverfield timeline was messy, with an overall incoherence to the story and weird recurring elements making it hard to understand what exactly Abrams and director Julius Onah were trying to convey (it's still unclear if they even knew what was going on). But, in the broad sense, the implication is that the monsters and aliens have been transported over from other dimensions to our own at various points in time and space, creating a multitude of crisis points across history.
From that understanding, it would be very easy to suggest that the power to create warped zombies originated from some extra-dimensional force. While the tone of Overlord creates some distance, the actual method wouldn't be too surprising; it was established in Cloverfield's viral marketing that the "nectar" from the monster in 2008 can mutate people, while 10 Cloverfield Lane's aliens in 2016 had a toxic gas they used to subjugate Earth. It's not a big leap for that to have also appeared further in the past.