It's hard to ignore the fact that franchises currently dominate Hollywood, and the hype machine for most major film series has reached a fever pitch. However, there's one specific franchise that has eschewed many hallmarks of traditional movie marketing: Cloverfield. In fact, the Cloverfield franchise is supposed to see the release of Julius Onah's Cloverfield 3 on February 2 of this year, but we still haven't seen anything from the project, yet. So what's going on? Should we be concerned? Let's dive into what we know about Cloverfield 3 and talk this out.
Formerly known as God Particle, the movie was actually supposed to hit theaters in fall 2017. However, the secret sequel was eventually rebranded and reworked into the Cloverfield universe, and then slapped with a February 2, 2018 release date. Yet, even with this pushback, Cloverfield 3 has still not shown us any footage -- despite the fact that the film finished production in 2016. For a movie that could presumably open pretty big on its opening weekend, the level of mystery surrounding it this late in the game is almost unprecedented.
For any other major movie franchise, this would be worrisome. However, with something like Cloverfield it gets a bit trickier. With Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane, the series has very much built itself on the concepts of subversive storytelling and marketing. The trailers for these films regularly mislead audiences and go heavy on J.J. Abrams' well-worn idea of the "mystery box," which means the lack of footage (despite the set release date) could say that Cloverfield 3 is trying to do something different by using word-of-mouth and the built-in fanbase established by the first two installments.
This tactic (if real) makes a certain degree of sense. Both Matt Reeves' Cloverfield and Dan Trachtenberg's 10 Cloverfield Lane were both produced for the relatively low price tags of $25 million and $15 million respectively. If Cloverfield 3's budget is similarly low, then the folks at Bad Robot and Paramount could easily bank on the fanbase turning out to earn a healthy profit for the film.
Then again, things might not be quite as sneaky or subversive as we're assuming. The project has already received one significant delay, and with no footage released one month from its set premiere date, it's entirely possible that Cloverfield 3 could receive another push to later in 2018 (if not next year altogether). Given how much Cloverfield 3 seems to have pushed back against traditional movie hype and marketing, few developments could surprise us at this point.
What little we do know about Cloverfield 3 certainly feels like enough to catch the collective interest of many fans. Shifting the story to outer space this time, the film's story will focus on the crew of a space station in a fight for survival when they turn on a particle accelerator. As far as the film's cast goes, the ensemble includes Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2's Elizabeth Debicki, Captain America: Civil War's Daniel Brühl, Bridesmaids' Chris O'Dowd, and Selma's David Oyelowo.