Paramount Delays The Release Of Cloverfield 3


One of the most eagerly awaited films of 2018 – often referred to as Cloverfield 3 – has just been delayed by Paramount Pictures, in a move that will undoubtedly disappoint many fans of the burgeoning franchise. The J.J. Abrams-produced endeavour was originally slated for a February 2nd theatrical debut, but has now been pushed back to April 20th.

The Cloverfield franchise is a project that’s particularly fascinating in an era of Hollywood filmmaking that seems to hinge on ever-increasing levels of series cohesion. While loyal audiences of the biggest film franchises purposefully seek out closely woven connections between entries, Cloverfield is atypical in its nature as an anthology series. These are films that appear to share only the loosest of connections, while building an expansive new cinematic universe.

It began in 2008, with the giant success of Matt Reeves’ Cloverfield. A high concept, invigorating take on both genre and artistic convention, the movie not only launched Reeves’ career into the stratosphere, but it also provided the seed for J.J. Abrams’ production company Bad Robot to do something very different. The then in-development film titled The Cellar, was gently re-tooled as 2016’s 10 Cloverfield Lane – directed by Dan Trachtenberg – a standalone story connected to the events of Cloverfield only by its sparse, viral marketing campaign and the implications of its third act.

This has also been the genesis of what is currently officially known as Untitled Cloverfield Movie. It was first announced back in 2012 as God Particle but, again, this project has undergone a gentle overhaul to become the next anthology chapter. It’s a great selection on the part of Bad Robot, because its loose connection to 10 Cloverfield Lane is the involvement of the International Space Station – which was alluded to during the earlier film’s marketing campaign.

The Untitled Cloverfield Movie stars Daniel Bruhl, Elizabeth Debicki, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and John Ortiz as astronauts aboard the International Space Station, conducting experiments when something goes very, very wrong. It’s directed by Julius Onah – a filmmaker selection that also fits the pattern of the franchise. Thus far, each entry has been helmed by a director who has some experience, but has yet to ‘break out.’

Prior to Cloverfield, Matt Reeves was largely known for television – but was launched into the Planet Of The Apes franchise as a result of his monster movie. 10 Cloverfield Lane was the feature length debut of Dan Trachtenberg, and he now has a number of theatrical films in development as a result if its success. Julius Onah is a highly experienced writer, director, and producer of short films, but this Cloverfield chapter will be only his second feature length project. Expectations will therefore be high as to what Onah will go on to deliver after his Untitled Cloverfield Movie finally arrives.

While delays of this nature often give rise to negative speculation – suggesting problems in the edit, and the like – it’s much more likely in the case of a Cloverfield movie that the release date push is designed to allow for a more complex, viral marketing campaign. These have been the hallmark of each chapter to date, so we should expect nothing less for this film. Given that we have yet to see any marketing at all for it – including the announcement of the official title – it’s not a huge leap of logic to conclude that this is a factor in Paramount’s decision here.