Warning! SPOILERS below for The Cloverfield Paradox!

Up until recently, the Cloverfield multiverse was just a pair of films that shared a similar tone and hinted at the possibility of being connected. The third film in the franchise, The Cloverfield Paradox, which premiered on Netflix earlier this month, was much more explicit in its ties to the universe, specifically the original 2008 film. While The Cloverfield Paradox basically laid out how the monster wound up in New York in Cloverfield, it didn't really touch on the second film, 10 Cloverfield Lane. However, there was originally a reference to 10 Cloverfield Lane in The Cloverfield Paradox, as producer J.J. Abrams explained:

During the spacewalk sequence and all this debris is flying around, there was a truck that was going around. And it was from 10 Cloverfield Lane, it was Stambler's truck. But it was one of those things that once again, it was just, some people called it out as being too crazy. I loved it, because I just thought it was so bonkers, but some people felt it was too distracting. I thought it was amazing.

Well, that certainly would have been interesting. As J.J. Abrams told The Empire Film Podcast, it might have been too crazy or distracting, but it is hard to argue that such weirdness wouldn't have been in keeping with the Cloverfield spirit. There is so much unexplained phenomena going on as two universes clash together in this film that seeing a truck floating around with the rest of the destroyed space station would have been par for the course. This is also a J.J. Abrams-type thing to do; as the pilot for Lost shows, the filmmaker likes introducing lots of weird things out of seemingly nowhere. The spacewalk was a tense moment in the film, and throwing a bunch of Easter eggs on the screen at that point may have detracted from the weight of it. I'm also not sure that Howard Stambler's truck was distinct enough that the connection to 10 Cloverfield Lane would have registered in viewers' minds right away. The mailbox is the inanimate object more associated with that film, but a mailbox sporting that address floating around in space would have been far too on the nose.

The Cloverfield Paradox does have more linear ties to Cloverfield, but it does reference 10 Cloverfield Lane a bit with Donal Logue's brief cameo as Mark Stambler, who may in some way be related to John Goodman's character from the second film. Ultimately I think not including Stambler's truck floating around in space was for the best. One of the major flaws of The Cloverfield Paradox was that it worked too hard to offer up explanations for the fun mysteries of the series, and by adding more connective tissue, it chained the films together. Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane were spiritually connected, but the narrative connection was a mystery. J.J. Abrams' comments make it clear that in order to brand this latest film with the Cloverfield moniker, they were perhaps forcing the ties a little too much and tacking on cutesy references. Such is the challenge with making a film that started life as something else, as this was originally an entirely separate story before turning into a Cloverfield movie during production.

The Cloverfield Paradox is currently streaming on Netflix and the next film in the Clover-verse, currently titled Overlord, is scheduled for release on October 26. For all the biggest movies hitting theaters this year, check out our release guide.

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