Surprise! There’s a New Cloverfield Movie on Netflix. Welcome to the End of Hype.
We’ve been writing about a film called The God Particle since 2012. In 2016, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and David Oyelowo were set to star in the film, and by the end of the year, we started hearing rumors that God Particle would be the third film in what was now the Cloverfield franchise, following 2008’s original film and 2016’s 10 Cloverfield Lane. After an ad for it aired during the big game, the film did a surprise drop on Netflix last night after the Super Bowl, and is now called The Cloverfield Paradox.
The first Super Bowl ad lets us know that this movie from Bad Robot that stars Mbatha-Raw that we thought was called The God Particle is not only actually called The Cloverfield Paradox, but that it would be available “tonight,” meaning after the Super Bowl.
As reported by The Verge, “The Cloverfield Paradox will help tie the previous two films together, providing some sort of origin story for the mysterious happenings that occur in both Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane.”
The second Super Bowl ad mostly consists of Mbatha-Raw pleading with the camera to parents who might be watching, her eyes filled with tears, telling them to stop whatever they’re doing and go hug their children.
This is, of course, intercut with all sorts of disaster and explosions happening….in space. Then, it’s announced that the film is available to watch now.
No big roll-out (unless you count rumors and anticipation as “roll-out”). Just a quick ad followed by a drop the same day. This is, of course, after we only got about two months notice for 10 Cloverfield Lane.
Ava DuVernay was so excited, she couldn’t help but hint before the big reveal happened:
#FilmTwitter is going to explode tonight. Something is coming that I can hardly believe. Lawd. History in the making.
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) February 4, 2018
This was followed by her unbridled squeeing over so many participants of color she loves and has worked with in The Cloverfield Paradox and that her friend, J.J. Abrams, had made this happen:
Woman of color-led, sci-fi thriller released worldwide day + date w/ big Netflix muscle for black director, his super producer + POC cast. No advance press, ads, trailer. Straight to the people. Gamechanger. Congrats to helmer #JuliusOnah + my dears JJ, Gugu, David. #Cloverfield pic.twitter.com/m186Hprhqz
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) February 5, 2018
She then, as I’m sure many of us did, compared this to the way Beyonce dropped Lemonade unannounced:
Right after the game. Lemonade-style. I always say the traditional walls are collapsing. New pathways are necessary in this old system. Change is good. https://t.co/5wjzFaHR1z
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) February 5, 2018
Fans don’t know what to do with themselves! Some (like me) were way into the way this was revealed. Others, who’ve already seen the film on Netflix say that the film isn’t worth the hype to begin with.
However, something that fans seem to be finding universally fun is figuring out what the next delivery method for another Cloverfield film will be.
cloverfield: elaborate marketing campaign months prior to release
10 cloverfield lane: released a month after being announced
cloverfield paradox: announced and released on the same day
cloverfield 4: jj comes to your house and chucks the bluray through the window unannounced
— wyatt (@Clankity) February 5, 2018
You really need to read this Twitter thread. It’s hilarious. A couple of my own musings:
Cloverfield 8: It’s the end of that game of telephone you started with a group of friends in fourth grade.
Cloverfield 9: It’s that dream that you had when you were standing in front of that work meeting naked. The CEO is literally a monster
Cloverfield X: In an elaborate twist, a trailer is released a year before the film, followed by first-look photos, a press junket, and several similar-looking trailers that tire us all out and give us most of the movie before we’ve even seen the movie.
Now, here’s my full disclosure: I’ve never seen any of the Cloverfield movies. As big of a Bad Robot fan as I am, I never saw the original, which made me stay away from 10 Cloverfield Lane so that I could sit and watch both, and now we’ve got a third movie. So, I’ll likely be watching all of them this week, and you’ll get to hear my thoughts on the actual films in the franchise in a few days.
Meanwhile, we recently learned that the zombie/Nazi/WWII film Overlord that we’ve been talking about is actually the 4th Cloverfield film, which we might have guessed if we’d paid attention to the creative team, which is the same on God Particle.
But what I’m geeking out about right now is the Lemonade-style dropping of this movie onto Netflix. I’m as much a geek about the delivery systems and peripherals of my favorite stories as I am about the stories themselves.
When I was obsessively watching Lost, I was equally obsessed with the elaborate alternate-reality game happening online over the summer, as well as the IRL ads being taken out in the New York Times for a book called Bad Twin from the universe of the show, which was actually terrible, but was fun anyway, because you could comb through it for clues. I love that the book S, which Abrams worked on with author Doug Dorst, is a novel within a play within a scrapbook that is as much a puzzle and physical work of art as it is a story (or stories).
I love surprises. I love the unexpected. And I hate that we’ve all been trained to feel entitled to things like spoilers and set photos while risking the slow dissipation of anticipation in favor of “knowing answers.” I love letting films and TV shows wash over me with whatever story they want to tell however they want to tell it to me, and so I welcome the end of excessive, drawn-out hype.
Though, believe me, I totally feel free to judge stories and make my opinion known after the fact.
So, until I can get it together enough to see the Cloverfield films that are already out, what do you all think? Have you watched The Cloverfield Paradox yet? Have thoughts on all of this? Let us know below!
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