One of my favorite surprises during this year’s Super Bowl was the incredible reveal of a true sequel to J.J. Abrams’ sleeper hit Cloverfield. There had been rumors of another film “in the universe” which was how Abrams described 2016’s 10 Cloverfield Lane, but few details had been released other than Julius Onah as the attached director and a working title of God Particle. Now, not only are we treated to the news that the film is complete, but it will be streaming directly to our homes in a matter of hours? Hello!
Abrams has maintained an intensely high level of secrecy about his Cloverfield project practically since the first film. Trailers and posters for the original film purposely avoided showing the monster at the heart of the story, and in fact the movie itself stayed deliberately vague. Then, with the news of 10 Cloverfield Lane came rumors that it was a sequel to the original. Not so, said Abrams, but in the same universe. It was tense throughout, and scary in a different way, with a more traditional filming style instead of the original’s found footage vibe.
And now, tonight, we finally get what fans have been asking for for ten years now—the continuation of the original story, a true and unequivocal sequel.
While Paradox is clearly the continuation of the original Cloverfield, imagery suggested a tie-in to Lane as well. How will it all tie together? We actually aren’t given a ton of time to theorize, and that’s the way I like it.
The reveal is every bit as important as the story itself. Rather than using traditional marketing and distribution tactics, Abrams & co are avoiding the inevitable comparison to a hundred other “tentpole-style” movies, while heartening back to the sense of urgency created in the original film. Watching the trailer created a sense of anticipation very similar to a breaking news story, complete with a “more after the game” feel that has been the hallmark of the evening news for decades. And using the captive audience of the Super Bowl to cash in on the Netflix reveal? Genius.
How will Paradox play out? Does this usher in a new era in distribution for Netflix? Only time will tell. Fortunately, we don’t have long to wait.
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The monster is coming tonight.
Check out the trailer below before diving into the film, releasing on Netflix in just a few hours: