Cloverfield fans rejoice – the follow-up 2008’s movie always deserved is finally happening. With J.J. Abrams producing, Drew Goddard writing, and Matt Reeves directing, Cloverfield arrived burdened with expectation, but the innovative (in 2008, at least) combination of viral marketing and a shaky-cam filming ensured that hype wasn’t wasted. Mysterious to the last, Cloverfield left audiences desperate to uncover more about the barely-seen creature ravaging New York, as well as what the future held for Earth after the monster survived a full-scale military bombing.
Talk of a Cloverfield sequel began as early as 2008 but, ironically, the movie’s success meant getting Abrams, Goddard and Reeves back in the room for Cloverfield 2 became nigh-on impossible, despite broad interest from all parties. Finally, 14 years later, something is stirring in the ocean once again. Wisely giving up on the original team ever syncing their calendars, Paramount is pushing ahead with Cloverfield 2 by appointing Babak Anvari as director of a script by Joe Barton, who has been attached since early 2021. Even better, reports tout this project as a direct sequel to Cloverfield, rather than yet another anthology installment.
Babak Anvari’s Cloverfield sequel can finally tell the stories everyone wanted to see after leaving theaters back in 2008. What happened after Clover (the nickname for Cloverfield‘s original monster) survived the military’s assault on Manhattan? What legacy did Rob and Beth’s video documentary leave behind? Did Tagruato’s undersea drilling activities disturb any other monsters? Did Lily survive? A movie as brimming with mystery, intrigue, and depth as Cloverfield always deserved a proper “part 2.” The rich world created by Abrams, Goddard and Reeves still has a monstrous amount of untapped potential for further stories that connect directly to the story and characters fans fell in love with, set during the aftermath of New York’s destruction, and with tangible references to the first film’s wild events.
Why Cloverfield Needs A Direct Sequel
Bad Robot’s 10 Cloverfield Lane and The Cloverfield Paradox failed to satisfy that hunger. Directed by Dan Trachtenberg, 2016’s 10 Cloverfield Lane is an ambitious and clever premise, but its strongest connection to 2008’s Cloverfield is the title. There’s a vague implication that the first movie’s monster was the precursor to a full-scale alien invasion that Howard predicted would come, but it’s easier (and, honestly, more enjoyable) to consider 10 Cloverfield Lane a standalone story. 2018’s The Cloverfield Paradox is hard to enjoy on any level. The poorly-reviewed straight-to-Netflix effort is, once again, only related to its predecessors in the loosest terms, but hints that all three movies were triggered by the Shepard particle accelerator, which either sent monsters across various points in time, or through a multiverse.
Neither 10 Cloverfield Lane nor The Cloverfield Paradox elaborates upon Cloverfield in a meaningful way. Vagueness and ambiguity are used to shield how both movies were probably given the “Cloververse” tag to make them more marketable (both scripts were originally unrelated, incidentally). As a result, the world, lore, and monsters that excited movie audiences in 2008 simply aren’t found in either anthology entry. Whether it be time dilation or parallel universes, 10 Cloverfield Lane and The Cloverfield Paradox aren’t the “real deal” Cloverfield. Even the alien monsters and their biomechnical ships don’t clearly align with Clover’s origin as an underwater monster disturbed by industrial drilling.
The Cloverfield 2 movie currently in Paramount’s pipeline can forget the convoluted existential nonsense and bring the franchise back to its roots: human commercialism coaxes a giant, indestructible monster out of the sea and New York is destroyed. Cloverfield‘s story concept never sounded like an ending – it sounded (and still sounds) like the beginning of a larger tale. Time to find out what happens next.