The Cloververse might be getting a bit more tangled in the near future. In early 2016, Paramount Pictures revealed that in mere months, it was releasing a movie called 10 Cloverfield Lane—a surprise follow-up to the Matt Reeves-directed, J.J. Abrams-produced 2008 film Cloverfield. In the wake of 10 Cloverfield Lane’s success, all signs pointed to another Paramount project produced by Abrams’ Bad Robot—God Particle—as the next film in this loosely connected Cloverfield universe. That much was confirmed last year, but now it sounds like God Particle may be going through some changes just three months before it was originally intended to hit theaters.
First reported by The Tracking Board’s Jeff Sneider and now confirmed by THR, Netflix is in talks to acquire God Particle—also known as Cloverfield Station—from Paramount Pictures. This new film is directed by Julius Onah and revolves around astronauts on a space station, featuring an ensemble cast that includes David Oyelowo, Ziyi Zhang, Daniel Bruhl, Elizabeth Debicki, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw.
The film was shot from June to September of 2016, but when Jim Gianopoulos took over as Paramount chairman in spring 2017, he took a look at the slate and what was in the can and, according to THR, “looked at what is theatrical [and] what is not in this day and age.”
THR adds that God Particle/Cloverfield Station was a more costly effort than 10 Cloverfield Lane, coming in with a budget over the $40 million range, and that the movie “needed some work.” Sources tell THR that while Abrams expressed an intent to dig in and tinker with the film in post-production, “it was too little, too late,” as Abrams now has his hands full spearheading Star Wars: Episode IX.
So Paramount, in the wake of a disappointing 2017 that saw big budget films like Transformers: The Last Knight and Ghost in the Shell underperform while the studio’s would-be Oscar hopefuls Suburbicon and Downsizing were DOA at awards season, is looking to make some changes in 2018 and selling God Particle off to Netflix may be a cushy deal. This news comes in the wake of a deal that Paramount struck with the streaming service for international rights to Alex Garland’s upcoming sci-fi film Annihilation, which reportedly had some heated disagreements over the film’s commercial appeal between producers. The compromise was to continue with Garland’s cut, but release the film internationally via Netflix.
What this means for the future of the Cloververse is unclear. After the success of 10 Cloverfield Lane, Abrams expressed his desire to continue forward with a Twilight Zone-esque anthology approach, in which original stories could be told that are tangentially connected to the Cloverfield universe. If one of these movies is owned by Netflix, does that mean it’s not canon? Will Bad Robot move its entire Cloververse operation over to Netflix? Or are future films potentially part of this new deal?
There are a lot of questions at the moment, and the deal isn’t closed so it’s also possible Netflix doesn’t end up taking God Particle, but this is a fascinating situation to be sure.