2008’s Cloverfield was an unexpected hit when it defied expectations following an expertly-crafted marketing campaign. Years later, the Cloverfield name has come and gone a couple more times with two spinoffs: the highly-acclaimed 2016 movie 10 Cloverfield Lane and 2018’s muddled The Cloverfield Paradox. But finally, J.J. Abrams and his Bad Robot production company are working on a direct sequel to the original “found footage” sci-fi film.
The long-awaited Cloverfield sequel is being produced by the Star Wars filmmaker and his Bad Robot head of film, Hannah Minghella. Instead of Matt Reeves taking the helm, the production has hired Joe Barton to write the film, per The Hollywood Reporter. The movie will apparently veer away from the found footage format this time around, but additional story details are thin.
Joe Barton has an interesting connection to Cloverfield’s breakout director Matt Reeves, since the writer was recently hired on to replace Terence Winter on HBO Max's Gotham City Police Department show, which will expand upon the world Reeves is establishing in The Batman. Barton is the new showrunner for the spinoff series as of just a couple of weeks ago. The British writer also made the series Giri/Haji and is behind a sci-fi thriller starring Riz Ahmed and Octavia Spencer called Invasion.
Many have been hoping for a direct sequel to the modern classic for over a decade now, with whispers of a continuation of the 2008 story as far back as right after Cloverfield scored an impressive $172 million worldwide against a $25 million budget. The other Cloverfield films have found some connections to the franchise, but the timelines have never quite aligned or had straightforward connections. A direct follow-up could be the Cloverfield project fans have really been waiting for.
At the end of the original 2008 film, we were left with an object (believed to be a satellite) crashing into the ocean via some video footage in the background of the tranquil vacation Michael Stahl-David and Odette Annable’s characters were on. It’ll be interesting to see where the movie may build upon the original movie, but for the time being, we’re in the dark.
Matt Reeves doesn’t seem to be involved as the filmmaker prepares to wrap up production on The Batman, which stars Robert Pattinson. His noir take on the Dark Knight has been filming for about a year now (with pandemic shutdowns in-between) and is expected to finish filming in March ahead of an early 2022 release date.
The original Cloverfield not only put Matt Reeves on the map back in 2008, but also turned heads toward Drew Goddard, who wrote the movie as his first feature screenplay. Since Cloverfield, Drew Goddard has gone on to write some of the best genre films of the past 10 years including The Cabin in the Woods, the Martian and Bad Times at the El Royale.
Monster movies have been all aglow as of late, with Godzilla vs. Kong breaking records prior to its release and a new Predator movie on the way. We’ll be keeping a close watch on how Cloverfield develops over at Bad Robot now too.