In some surprising late-Friday news, there’s a new Cloverfield movie in the works from producer J.J. Abrams, who has tapped hot British scribe Joe Barton to write the script.
What’s not surprising, and in fact comes as something of a relief, is that this new film will not be found-footage sequel, which gives Barton significant creative freedom in crafting the story. The format has gone out of style in recent years after Hollywood predictably drove it into the ground. Plot details for the new movie are being kept under wraps according to the Hollywood Reporter, which broke the exciting news.
Barton recently stepped in to replace Terence Winter as the showrunner on HBO Max‘s upcoming Gotham P.D. series about crooked cops, which is being overseen by The Batman director Matt Reeves who — can you see where I’m going with this? — directed the original Cloverfield!
That 2008 monster movie grossed $172 million worldwide on a modest $25 million budget and not only launched Reeves‘ big-budget filmmaking career, but also a full-fledged franchise that includes 2016’s 10 Cloverfield Lane ($110 million worldwide) and the abysmal Netflix movie The Cloverfield Paradox in 2018. I imagine it also launched (or bolstered) the careers of several marketing executives, who devised a clever viral campaign that led to a $40 million domestic opening weekend. I happened to enjoy Dan Trachtenberg‘s follow-up starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Goodman, but the reason that the first film worked as well as it did was the love story at its center, not the fact that it was a creature feature.
Of course, both of those subsequent Cloverfield movies were originally developed as standalone features titled Valencia and God Particle, whereas this fourth film has the benefit of being written with the greater Cloverfield universe in mind. I wouldn’t even be surprised if some of the franchise’s stars (like Winstead) returned for cameo appearances at the very least.
Abrams will produce this new movie under his Bad Robot banner, and I can’t imagine WarnerMedia is too happy about this since they recently signed Abrams to a lucrative producing deal, and the Cloverfield franchise is housed at Paramount. I mean, there are only so many balls one man can juggle at once!
Barton previously created and wrote the crime drama Giri/Haji for BBC Two/Netflix, and his feature credits include Amazon‘s upcoming sci-fi movie Invasion starring Octavia Spencer and Riz Ahmed, the latter of whom is simply phenomenal in the streamer’s moving drama Sound of Metal.