Two years ago producer J.J. Abrams surprised audiences when 10 Cloverfield Lane appeared seemingly out of nowhere. During Super Bowl LII today, the franchise upped the ante with a shocking revelation: the new entry in the series is called The Cloverfield Paradox, and would be coming to Netflix immediately after the game.
Directed by Julius Onah, the film was originally produced under the title God Particle, and focuses on a group of astronauts that deal with some strange and mysterious happenings in space. There had been long-running speculation that the movie would be part of the Cloverfield universe, but in true mystery box fashion the exact details of how it would fit into the mythology have remained under wraps. The movie was previously scheduled for theatrical release this year, but last month reports surfaced that Paramount was actually talking with Netflix about taking the film instead.
Judging from the trailer, The Cloverfield Paradox will help tie the previous two films together, providing some sort of origin story for the mysterious happenings that occur in both Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane. It should go without saying that this kind of instant surprise release strategy simply wouldn’t be possible with a traditional theatrical rollout, and while some audiences will no doubt wish they could see the film on the big screen, the hype and surprise generated by this announcement is just more proof that the traditional rules of distribution and promotion are being upended by streaming services.
The Cloverfield Paradox is available now on Netflix.
Update, February 4th, 10:40PM ET: Updated with the latest trailer and news that the film is now available for streaming.