Today, The Wrap released a report confirming that the upcoming film God Particle — directed by Julius Onah and produced by J.J. Abrams — is actually the next entry in the Cloverfield series.
God Particle won’t be the last in the franchise, either. According to The Wrap, Abrams and Paramount have plans to release films every year within that shared universe. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Abrams has left breadcrumbs across the internet for months; even the films hint at something bigger in the background.
In February, Abrams told outlets like Fandango and Entertainment Weekly that there is a “larger conceit” at play in the Cloverfield universe that could connect these stories. He wouldn’t outright talk about a third film, but a quote that there was “something else that we’d like to do, and hopefully we’ll get a shot” indicated his continued interest in the series.
As for God Particle itself, details are still tight — which is exactly the strategy 10 Cloverfield Lane’s creators used. That film was even made under the working title Valencia, which suggests that God Particle might not be the new movie’s final name. The film reportedly tells the story of a team of American astronauts dealing with a strange phenomenon and an unfamiliar crew. This is vague information on its own, but we can benefit from looking at the previous film. First, let’s talk about the ending of 10 Cloverfield Lane. (Spoilers ahead.) By the end of the film, we know that Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is in a more complicated situation than she thought at the beginning of the story. There’s a larger threat lurking around in the free world, and that threat is aliens.
If you paid any attention to the movie’s viral marketing and ARG campaigns, you know there’s some ominous space stuff going down in the Cloverfield universe. Listen to this video, an uploaded audio file from part of that viral campaign:
The Cloverfield rabbit hole is deep. Fan sites like Cloverfield Clues or even the 10 Cloverfield Lane subreddit are full of speculation and theories, if you’ve got a few hours to spend on exploring just how deep it goes.
We know 10 Cloverfield Lane isn’t a direct sequel to Cloverfield, so we shouldn’t expect a neat narrative line to a third movie, either. Abrams himself has said he sees 10 Cloverfield Lane as more of a “blood relative” to the original than a sequel. He’s a self-professed fan of anthology series like The Twilight Zone, and that may be the most telling detail of all.
“It's sort of an easy way to say it's an anthology of cool genre films [that] could all fall under the Cloverfield banner,” Abrams told the Los Angeles Times in March.
“There is a larger idea that we're working on that would be really fun if we could see [it] through. Hopefully that can happen, but in the meantime, The Twilight Zone comparison is [a] flattering and hopefully appropriate one.”
God Particle is slated for a theatrical release on February 24th, 2017. Selma’s David Oyelowo and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, whose work includes Concussion and most recently Black Mirror’s “San Junipero,” are set to lead the film.