Mystery Box Magic: CLOVERFIELD Is Getting A Sequel, But It’s Not OVERLORD

Maybe the real mystery is how the hell they plan this goddamn franchise.

The Cloverfield franchise is just fucking nonsense if you think about it for five seconds, really more of an ingenious marketing ploy than a fertile ground for great genre cinema. 

The first movie was a found footage faux kaiju flick that Paramount teased forever with great trailers, and then released to the tune of a $40 million weekend. It topped off at $80 million domestically, put another $90 mil on top overseas, marking the $25 million production as quite the solid investment (and thus kicking off the brand). 

Only it took eight years for us to receive 10 Cloverfield Lane, which was basically a bottle episode with crazy ass John Goodman and sweet, innocent Mary Elizabeth Winstead...until it wasn't. That movie didn't do quite as well at the box office (presumably because it was selling a real story and not just a mysterious concept), but critics seemed to be cool with it, and has earned a solid rep on repeat viewings. 

The Cloverfield Paradox is where shit got real wonky. Originally not intended to be part of the Cloverfield "universe" (are we calling it that?) at all, the sci-fi/horror space adventure formerly known as God Particle was sold off to Netflix and infamously dropped as surprise post-Superbowl drunken viewing fodder. It received bad reviews, but apparently generated a ton of traffic for the streaming titan (which translated to a bank vault of Monopoly money), so I guess it was a success overall? If anything, Paramount covered their nut with the sale, so they're happy. 

Right now, CinemaCon is happening, and JJ Abrams made an appearance at the Paramount panel. In-between the studio announcing two new Star Trek movies (though neither were specified as Tarantino's), Abrams claimed that the next alleged Cloverfield entry - Bad Robot's first R-rated endeavor Overlord - is now no longer a Cloverfield film at all. Instead, they're working on a new Cloverfield sequel "for theaters" to take its place. Sure JJ, whatever you say. 

For those who may not remember - Overlord is the WWII set sci-fi/horror picture that stars Wyatt "Baby Kurt" Russell and follows American paratroopers who, on the eve of D-Day, are dropped behind enemy lines on a critical mission, only to realize there's more going on in the Nazi-occupied village they've infiltrated than a simple military operation. That picture hits theaters October 26th, and from the people I've talked to, the footage they showed at CC was pretty impressive. 

But what the fuck Cloverfield? If the franchise is getting another installment, is it actually "sequel"? Or is it another unrelated anthology-type story that just feels stylistically connected to the whole? One day, I hope someone writes a book about the Cloverfield movies and all the BTS happenings that surrounded them (as Paramount is also reportedly very protective over the brand). There's no rhyme or reason to how these pictures seem to come together beyond a marketing hook, but that's also what makes them sort of interesting. We never know what the hell is gonna come out of that goddamn Mystery Box.