After years of fans clamoring for a Cloverfield sequel, Paramount and J.J. Abrams pulled off a pretty terrific surprise by announcing that an upcoming thriller called Valencia was actually called 10 Cloverfield Lane mere months before its release, adding that it would have a tangental connection to the Abrams-produced 2008 film. 10 Cloverfield Lane, under the direction of Dan Trachtenberg, turned out to be a pretty incredible contained thriller and still stands as one of the best films of the year, and now it turns out it was only the beginning of the Cloverfield universe.
Per The Wrap, the upcoming sci-fi thriller God Particle is the next movie “connected to” Cloverfield, with the report noting that Abrams and Paramount (and presumably Bad Robot) are also quietly developing even more movies for the shared Cloverfield universe. The hope, per The Wrap’s report, is that they’re able to release a new film in the shared Cloverfield universe each year.
Just like with the film that was eventually revealed to be 10 Cloverfield Lane, God Particle was developed and shot under the radar with Julis Onah (The Girl Is in Trouble) directing the story of a team of astronauts who make a “terrifying discovery that challenges all they know about the fabric of reality, as they desperately fight for survival.” Selma star David Oyelowo and Beyond the Lights breakout Gugu Mbatha-Raw (who also co-stars in the stellar new Black Mirror episode “San Junipero”) lead a cast that also includes Ziyi Zhang, Elizabeth Debicki, Daniel Brühl, and Chris O’Dowd.
When Oyelowo and Mbatha-Raw joined the cast this past spring, I speculated that God Particle might be another Cloverfield movie, and it looks like that’s the case. I actually think this is an incredibly smart way to approach the Cloverfield franchise—by allowing filmmakers to develop unique, contained stories that are connected to but not direct sequels to Cloverfield, we get the best of both worlds: original sci-fi stories with unique points of view, and a franchise films that further expand a universe.
10 Cloverfield Lane was a fantastic character-centric story that only touched on the alien portion of Cloverfield during its third act, but it sounds like God Particle may give us a much closer look at what’s going on by taking us to space. Will the film be set before the events of Cloverfield, as the creature makes it descent towards Earth, or will this be in the aftermath as more creatures head towards our planet? Will Super 8 be revealed to be a retroactive Cloverfield movie? We’ll find out on February 24, 2017 when the film hits theaters nationwide.