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Cloverfield 2: Why It's A Good Thing The Sequel Is Dropping Found Footage

Cloverfield Marlena, Rob, and Lilly in the subway tunnel

Score another long-teased sequel actually coming back from the dead in Hollywood, as the direct sequel to 2008’s Cloverfield is no longer a pipe dream. With a script in development by the increasingly popular Joe Barton, the follow-up to those fateful events first documented on handheld video are going to continue, just as J.J. Abrams had promised. However, it's not going to be business as usual this time, as an exciting development has seen this new Cloverfield successor foregoing the found footage approach entirely. As a fan of the franchise since its beginnings, I’m totally on board with this development for several key reasons.

10 Cloverfield Lane Michelle shocked with Howard peering from behind the door

The Cloverfield Anthology Dropped Found Footage A Long Time Ago

While Cloverfield started the entire tale of larger-than-life Large Scale Aggressors and their appearance on Earth using found footage as its lens of choice, it was something that never reappeared in other entries. As 10 Cloverfield Lane and The Cloverfield Paradox would become traditional cinematic narratives that would play with alternate universes of the same sandbox, found footage was essentially dropped altogether from the franchise toolbox. So returning to that method of storytelling might seem a bit regressive, even if it’s in connection to a direct sequel to Cloverfield’s events in 2008/2009.

Ditching found footage would help Cloverfield 2 escape direct comparisons to Cloverfield, especially when it comes to watchability. Almost every time a blockbuster tries to use that device in its storytelling, complaints arise that it’s hard to watch, and in the worst cases, it could induce nausea or discomfort. So bringing back the original storyline to Cloverfield is a great idea, especially since we’ll now be able to return to that story without the need for Dramamine.

Cloverfield Rob, Marlena, and Lily looking up

Cloverfield 2 Can Cover New And Exciting Ground Without The Limitations

Found footage wasn’t only a stumbling block when it came to the ease of watching Cloverfield back in the day. With a more limited scope came technical challenges, which was even more important when it came to continuity and ultimately limits as to what could or couldn’t be seen on screen. Now imagine the world of Cloverfield 2 revisiting those events, either in contemporary times or as a flashback to the events of the 2008/2009 timeframe of director Matt Reeves’ first film. It’s practically like taking an oversized pair of handcuffs off of another round of monster mayhem.

No matter how Cloverfield 2 ties into Cloverfield, everything is on the table when it comes to how to progress the story. Flashbacks could be employed, a longer chain of events could be covered and travel to other locations and/or dimensions wouldn’t be limited by how long it would take to go Columbus Circle to Central Park. The Cloverfield universe has grown over time, and so should its lens of play.

Cloverfield Clover stomping above Grand Central Station

We Might Get A Better, More Complete Look At Clover’s Scale

Speaking of growth, Cloverfield’s introduction to one of the most memorable movie creatures in some time is still one of the first film’s lasting legacies when it comes to how it changed things for modern viewers. There may not have been a serious interest in movies like Pacific Rim or the MonsterVerse (which will soon see Godzilla vs. Kong fighting it out on aircraft carriers at sea) if it wasn’t for the tease and reveal of Clover. Much as the universe this creature calls home has grown, so could the little beastie itself.

Remember, in Cloverfield, little Clover was tearing up Manhattan as a baby separated from its mother. So if Cloverfield 2 engages in flashbacks to 2008, we could see just how big this baby actually was in comparison to the city at large, and in more breathtaking wide shots. Or, if this direct sequel is going to focus on another time frame altogether, and Clover’s mother is still alive somewhere at the bottom of the ocean, we might see just how big one of these creatures could get. Not to mention, it might explain some lingering questions from films such as The Cloverfield Paradox.

The Cloverfield Paradox Tam and Schmidt monitor the particle accelerator's control panels

Returning To The Original Cloverfield’s Events Could Tie Up Some Loose Ends

At the end of The Cloverfield Paradox, the loosely bound anthology of Cloverfield movies starts to feel like a shared universe playing out across several parallel worlds. Nowhere is this better felt than through the decision to include, in the very final moments of that Netflix original, a creature that looks like it’s from the same family of beasts as Clover. Now if Cloverfield takes place in 2008/2009, and The Cloverfield Paradox is set in 2028, just how could this have happened?

There’s clearly a lot of questions that Cloverfield and even 10 Cloverfield Lane have also left in their wake, especially since John Goodman’s Howard Stambler may not have been wrong when pegging that film’s monsters as “gigantic space worms.” If the Cloverfield anthology has been excelled at anything, it’s been causing audiences to ask questions about “what it all means.” As Cloverfield 2 is a direct sequel to Cloverfield, we might just see some of those loose ends starting to tie together.

Cloverfield deep sea parasites observed by a deep sea vessel

There’s A Chance Cloverfield 2 Might Better Expand The Future Of The Series

Paramount Pictures is obviously a studio that, at this point in time, is looking to revive its legacy brands in new and exciting ways. With Jack Ryan, Top Gun: Maverick and even the Spongebob Squarepants projects that the corporation has been reviving and continuing, the studio brass is definitely putting money on some old favorites to bring in new audiences. So the decision to make a Cloverfield 2 doesn’t feel like some random one-off decision to make a quick buck. Rather, it feels like a strategy for potential success in the future.

It may only be a trilogy of loosely connected movies, but Cloverfield has left such an imprint on fans and executives alike, it’s practically a legacy brand for Paramount. Why else would people question films like A Quiet Place or Overlord becoming part of the Cloverfield universe, with just a slight feeling of similarity present in both? Fans want to see more action with Large Scale Aggressors and mass property damage, and Cloverfield 2 not only satisfies that urge, but it also opens the door to further adventures, should the film be successful at the box office.

Without found footage limiting Cloverfield 2’s potential, the sky’s not even the limit of where this series could head in the years to come. Bringing back familiar faces and names, showing off a new and exciting scale of storytelling and answering long-held questions might be the ticket to getting Cloverfield back on the path to being a long-term franchise. And with the intent to tell the story of what happened after Rob and Beth’s last words under the Greyshot Arch, there’s no need to recharge the camera batteries before moving forward. Wherever this idea’s about to go, it already sounds like it’s going to be an exciting return to a still-lingering mystery.

Mike Reyes

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.