After the arrival of 2016’s clandestinely shot surprise Cloverfield-connected film 10 Cloverfield Lane and the revelation that an upcoming sci-fi epic – frequently referred to as God Particle – will also be part of the franchise, we should be trained to expect just about any film project on the docket of J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot production company to tie into the original 2008 faux-found-footage mega-monster movie. However, after puzzling schedule shifts, our Cloverfield conundrum will now see the third film delayed again, this time well into 2018.
The mysterious third Cloverfield film (God Particle) has a new home on the box office schedule, set for an IMAX theatrical release on February 2, 2018. With Cloverfield removed from its previous October 27, 2017 slot, the expected head-to-head Halloween season competition with a genre-similar offering in the horror franchise film revival Jigsaw is cancelled. Moreover, (as of this July 21 update,) the move to February 2 leaves Cloverfield as the only major movie offering set to debut that weekend, which also happens to be Super Bowl weekend.
This latest shift is the culmination of a multiple moves. In August 2016, in a series of events that seemed connected, Paramount pulled God Particle off the schedule from its original February 24, 2017 release date. Subsequently, Exhibitor Relations reported that Paramount booked October 27, 2017 for a mystery film to “drop from the sky,” described vaguely as a “Cloverfield movie (IMAX).” Thus, the assumption was that God Particle – already reportedly a Cloverfield movie – would have settled into that October 27 slot; something that now seems unlikely to occur.
The August 2016 report about God Particle’s Cloverfield-related status also indicated that even more connected projects were in the works, with plans to release a new surprise cinematic chapter each year. While the latest schedule shift seems to confirm that 2017 will be Cloverfield-less, the February 2018 release of the untitled third film in the series could become paradigmatic for that mandate of annual releases.
2008’s Cloverfield, directed by Matt Reeves, put an innovative kaiju spin on the raw, Blair Witch-esque shaky-cam found-footage film genre and was considered an esteemed classic in the years after its release. Consequently, when details of (an already-shot) mystery movie 10 Cloverfield Lane abruptly emerged in early 2016, it was a shock, to say the least. The quasi-sequel starred Mary Elizabeth Winstead as a woman who is kidnapped and held in a bunker by an eccentric loner played by John Goodman, who claims to be protecting her from an alien apocalypse.
By contrast, the Cloverfield sequel known as God Particle – directed by Julius Onah and written by Oren Uziel and Doug Jung – will take the franchise past the literal stratosphere, following a team of astronauts played by David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ziyi Zhang, Elizabeth Debicki, Daniel Brühl and Chris O’Dowd. In the cold of space, they discover a (prospectively Cloverfield-relevant) threat to not just humanity, but reality itself! However, further details are as much of a mystery as J.J. Abrams’s oft-referenced boxes of infinite possibilities.
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