The sudden release of The Cloverfield Paradox on Netflix last night surprised everyone. Sure, we heard rumors last month that Paramount Pictures might be negotiating with the streaming service for worldwide rights to a movie that was originally titled God Particle, but figured that the likelihood was uncertain.
It happened, though, and many, many people, including this writer, tuned in right after the Super Bowl to watch the newly-dubbed The Cloverfield Paradox, leading to many, many people sharing their responses on social media. If you haven't had a chance to see the movie yet, beware that spoilers will follow as we explore connections between the three movies in the so-called Cloverfield universe, including Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane (above).
Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo, Daniel Bruhl, John Ortiz, Chris O'Dowd, Elizabeth Debicki and Zhiyi Zhang portray the astronauts. Julius Onah directed. The diverse cast features two black actors in the lead roles and a black director, which is notable for any major release.
What's the movie about?
As has long been reported, the story primarily follows "astronauts on board a space station when they see the Earth disappear." Early on, we learn that the Earth is in terrible shape, with war being threatened. Also, the planet's natural resources are rapidly being depleted. The space station's mission is to conduct an experiment that could fulfill's all Earth's energy needs … forever.
It's a dangerous experiment, though, which is why it's being conducted in space. Early on, the astronauts watch an expert on Earth (Donal Logue) talk about "The Cloverfield Paradox," which threatens to tear apart the fabric of space and time and create monsters and demons. Uh, oh! After numerous failures, the dangerous experiment finally succeeds and the astronauts eventually realize that they have been transported into another timeline.
How is it connected to Cloverfield?
J.J. Abrams produced the original monster movie. Once the experiment succeeds, the astronauts are plunged into an alternate universe in which their space station crashes into the sea -- hinted at in Cloverfield when a mysterious object does just that -- and a monstrous beast tears apart New York City. [Via Coming Soon]
How is it connected to 10 Cloverfield Lane?
Abrams, again, produced. Back on Earth, a subplot in the new movie follows Michael, the husband of one of the astronauts. He can see something is terrible is happening in the city and makes efforts to help, finding a young girl along the way who has been separated from her family. He contacts a friend, asking if they can stay in his underground bomb shelter, which looks very much like the one in 10 Cloverfield Lane.
How is it connected to both movies?
Much speculation has ensued about the apparent connections, and none have so far been declared definitive by any of the creative talent involved. Because the experiment on board the space station went so horribly wrong, it's probably safe to say that all three movies take place in different, alternate timelines. [Via Heavy]
The monster that appears at the end of The Cloverfield Paradox, for example, is significantly larger than the one that stomped through Cloverfield. Also, the technology on display appears more advanced that what we have today. [Via The Wrap]
Are there any surprise cameos?
Simon Pegg, who worked with producer J.J. Abrams on Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is a news reader who delivers information about the space station and the particle accelerator. We don't see him, but we can hear his voice.
We don't see Greg Grunberg either, but the actor can be heard throughout the movie as the voice of the crew's contact at NASA. Grunberg is a longtime associate of Abrams, dating back to their days together on TV's Felicity. [via ScreenRant]
How it it otherwise connected to past J.J. Abrams movies?
In the space station, we see a bobbing figurine holding a Slusho, a frozen drink that also appears in Abrams' TV shows Alias, Lost and Heroes, as well as in the online marketing for Cloverfield. [Via Indiewire]
When will we learn more?
Expect to hear more fan theories, but we're not likely to hear any more officially until the next installment in the Cloverfield universe, tentatively titled Warlord, which is reportedly set during World War II. We're still waiting on an official release date.