Despite fan theories prior to release, A Quiet Place didn't turn out to a stealth Cloverfield sequel – although, in hindsight, it would have made a more appropriate entry than The Cloverfield Paradox. From the very beginning, Cloverfield has been an unconventional series. The first movie came right from producer J.J. Abrams patented Mystery Box, and was an original concept that sold itself perfectly. The first teaser was sent to theatres without even revealing the title, leading to a flood of speculation that helped sell the movie on word of mouth alone. The final product was a unique mix of Kaiju and found footage movie and went on to gross a tidy profit.
The success of Cloverfield should have secured a direct sequel, but as the years passed the key talent seemed too busy to crack the concept. Then, without warning, a trailer for 10 Cloverfield Lane appeared a mere two months before release. Again, this got fans talking about how it got made without anyone noticing, and what ties did this "spiritual" sequel have to the original? It turns out the movie was originally a separate project dubbed The Celler, but Abrams saw the potential to form an anthology using the Cloverfield brand, so after quick reshoots to add a new climax it became the second movie. It received mostly strong reviews and proved to be another hit, making fans eager for the next installment.
There were warning signs about The Cloverfield Paradox long before it arrived. Like The Cellar, the movie started life as an unrelated script called God Particle, before Abrams and his production company Bad Robot decided to retool it into another spiritual follow-up. The movie was delayed multiple times, with rumors suggesting the studio was worried about it; the lack of photos or trailers seemed to back this up. Then the movie suddenly landed on Netflix, which was another bold marketing stroke - it guaranteed huge initial views before reviews or word of mouth had a chance to kick in.
While The Cloverfield Paradox has its fans, on the whole, it received mediocre reviews and is considered the weakest installment thus far. The ties to the Cloverfield universe also felt sloppy, and the Netflix move – where the streaming platform paid Paramount $50 million to secure the exclusive – felt like a hustle to save a movie the studio has admitted they felt would struggle with a convention release. The movie let fans down, and there's already a sense that A Quiet Place – a stripped down horror movie with a great premise – would have been a better fit for the series.
What Is Going On With Cloverfield?
The Cloverfield brand took something of a hit with The Cloverfield Paradox. It just about paid off for both Paramount and Netflix; the former got the budget of the production back, while the latter earned a huge exclusive. But while a robust series can survive the occasional dud, it can take a lot to win back audience confidence. Abrams is pressing ahead with his anthology plans, and the next Cloverfield movie will be Overlord. In keeping with the Mystery Box approach, no stills or footage have been revealed, and the plot is said to concern American soldiers who run across a supernatural Nazi experiment during World War II.
Another Bad Robot production is also rumored to be a Cloverfield sequel. Kolma stars Daisy Ridley, and the plot involves a woman on her deathbed who is given a choice; reunite with her lost love in the afterlife or get sent back in time to the day of the accident that killed him to alter the outcome. Both movies have intriguing hooks, and it will be interesting to see what marketing stunts Abrams attempts this time. All the Cloverfield movies are loosely tied to one another, so the other question is how will a World War II adventure and a time-traveling love story organically link to the first three?
Was A Quiet Place Almost A Cloverfield Movie?
A Quiet Place was a spec script written by Byran Woods and Scott Beck, and takes place in the aftermath of an apocalyptic event where the planet is overrun by creatures who hunt by sound. The story follows a family that struggles to survive in a world where an accidental noise could get them killed. It's a fantastic concept, and the movie milks every ounce of suspense it can from it. John Krasinski pulled triple duty, playing the lead, co-writing the script and directing, and does a great job with all three.
The movie received strong early word of mouth, but following the release of the first trailer, theories started to emerge linking A Quiet Place to Cloverfield. The evidence was circumstantial; the movie was also produced by Paramount, Krasinski left Paradox to make the movie, and the creatures bare a passing resemblance to those from the Cloverfield movies. Bad Robot wasn't involved with the project, but that could have been a bluff. When it comes to marketing gimmicks, it would have been a brave move to release A Quiet Place without the Cloverfield name, and have viewers discover it for themselves.
That rumor was dispelled when the movie was released, which has no overt ties to Cloverfield. Writers Beck and Woods have since stated there was a moment they considered making the script a Cloverfield sequel, but once the studio read their spec it was decided to keep it an original concept. Producers Andrew Form and Brad Fuller also laughed off the rumor, revealing the idea of making it a Cloverfield sequel was never once discussed during production.
That said, neither The Celler nor God Particle started life as Cloverfield movies either, so if the script had landed on Abrams desk first, who knows what could have happened. Abrams vision for the anthology is to make movies with strong hooks and unite them under one umbrella, and A Quiet Place has a few ingredients that made it a natural candidate. Give how Paradox turned out, perhaps it would have been the better choice.
- Overlord (2018) release date: Nov 09, 2018