What the fuck is the CloverVerse?
That’s what most people might be asking regarding the unique releases of the third Cloverfield movie, The Cloverfield Paradox.
While I actually enjoyed my time watching it (read my review), despite some obvious flaws, most people, from critics to fans, hated the movie. They’re calling it confusing and stupid – a bad movie all around.
Now, if you read my review, you know I do not think anything happening in the movie is stupid. I mean, come on: we don’t know what the heck would happen if space-time fiber is slashed, nor we know how a paradox would physically manifest itself. Basically, it’s everyone’s game.
That said, the franchise is supposed to be confusing.
The CloverVerse is indeed a shared universe like the Marvel Cinematic Universe; however, its goal is not to tell a gigantic big adventure, but rather show something else. And with ‘something else’ I don’t even know what I mean, but it certainly is different from what Disney is doing.
Of course, it is confusing to most because all three movies are very different from each other, sharing only some details and thematics.
For starters, while they all happened on the same planet (Earth), they do not happen at the same time.
Cloverfield takes place in 2008, 10 Cloverfield Lane in 2016 and The Cloverfield Paradox in 2028.
We also know that they don’t take place in the same dimension.
As we know, The Cloverfield Paradox‘s premise is that Earth is running out of energy, so they made this particle accelerator in space with the goal to create a source of infinite energy.
However, there’s no mention of a possible energy crisis in Cloverfield, nor it’s mentioned in 10 Cloverfield Lane.
All three movies have aliens in them. In the first two movies, they are the cause why everything is happening – while in Cloverfield that is direct, in 10 Cloverfield Lane the things are way more subtle as we see them (actually – something that MIGHT be them) just in the end.
However, in the third one, it’s the other way around: the monster happens because of them – although you could say that everything that happens on Earth, from the successful experiment on, it’s because of the monster. So, depending on how you want to see it, it might turn things around narratively or just be exactly the same.
Can The Cloverfield Paradox be ‘Year Zero’ as advertised?
The Cloverfield Paradox takes heads on the idea of multiple dimension and how a rip in the time-space fabric would affect past, present, and future. So, it may very well be that the film is indeed narrating the events that started it all.
In Paradox we watch the particle accelerator ripping the fabric, and we see the effects in the first film as well as in the second one.
Also, at the very end of Cloverfield‘s end credits, we hear a voice that is seemingly saying ‘Help Us’, but if you play it backward, it clearly says ‘It’s still alive’. That means that both sequels should have had acknowledged the existence of monsters. But that’s not the case (in 10 Cloverfield Lane only John Goodman’s character might know about them, which would explain his psychotic behavior).
Only the scientist interviewed in Paradox states a theory that the accelerator could bring ‘chaos and monsters’, hence theorizing the existence of such beings, or at least the possibility of such eventuality.
Anyways, in a few words, the most credited theory about how the franchise works are that the rip opened in The Cloverfield Paradox caused the appearance of the monster in Cloverfield and the aliens (?) in 10 Cloverfield Lane.
Which makes sense, even in the case we consider the original film’s marketing campaign – which, I have to remind you, is part of the narration as much as the movies. Anyways, in one of the viral news reports, we are told that the creature was awakened by a drilling deep in the ocean. Such drilling was performed by Tagruato, a fictional Japanese corporation who is also responsible for the ‘Slusho!’ drink, which you can see in pretty much every Bad Robot production (except Star Wars).
It may very well be that the drilling is part of the rift, or maybe it actually created the rift…? I don’t know, I’m confused, but that’s kind of the point.
What is really happening?
Most of you might not like this part, although it shouldn’t matter much in my opinion.
Basically, with the exception of the first film, every script was written to be a standalone movie. 10 Cloverfield Lane, for example, was originally a blacklist script called Valencia, and, long story short, was bought by Bad Robot and turned into a Cloverfield script (with the help of Damien Chazelle).
Also, according to J.J. Abrams himself, they knew The Cloverfield Paradox was part of the franchise while they were shooting it, however, they didn’t know how to tie it in. Which explains some things regarding the very fast and anti-climactic explanatory dialogues.
So, yes: they are basically taking good scripts and ‘slapping’ the CloverVerse on them.
Which I honestly don’t see it as a bad thing: from one side, J.J. Abrams gets to produce his own cryptic and loosely connected reality-bending franchise, whereas the writers and directors, at their first or second feature experience, get to work with a studio and J.J.
I mean, it’s a win-win situation, am I right?
We already know that at least one more Cloverfield movie is inbound by the end of the year.
Overlord, a paranormal thriller set during D-Day in World War II, has been confirmed to be part of the CloverVerse. It has already been shot, and it’s slated to release in October, by Paramount. However, Netflix might still grab this one too – but let’s make it clear: it wasn’t included in the Paradox deal.
Yet, there’s more.
Because of the Tagruato viral website (Tagruato.Jp), which is constantly updated with hints of what’s coming next, people are speculating that Kolma, a remake of the 2003 Israeli movie Kol Ma She’Yesh Li (All I’ve Got is the English name), is part of the franchise. Obviously produced by J.J. Abrams and his Bad Robot, the original film story is about an old woman approaching death who is given the opportunity to either relive her life from when she was 22 years-old or save the life of her husband (died in an accident). More details here.
Now, Kolma, which sees Daisy Ridley star as the lead, has not been confirmed to be part of the franchise. However, the Tagruato website hinted at the story of The Cloverfield Paradox way back during 10 Cloverfield Lane release. So it’s not too far-fetched.
And since Kolma is a remake, and that the CloverVerse is about time rift and paradoxes, there have been speculations about a potential 6th installment.
And that potential 6th installment could be none other than the live-action remake of Your Name.
In fact, in September 2017 Variety announced that J.J. Abrams, alongside Bad Robot and Paramount, will produce and oversee the live-action adaptation of the highest grossing anime movie in history.
Now, anyone who watched the film (and if you didn’t you should seriously consider doing so), knows that the concept can easily fit the franchise. However, again, this is only speculation, more so than Kolma.
Anyways, do you like the CloverVerse? Do you like the idea of a loosely connected anthology series existing in the same multiverse?