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SYFY WIRE Cloverfield

Mysterious fourth 'Cloverfield' movie from J.J. Abrams & Bad Robot finds director

Treat yourself to a refreshing Slusho to celebrate!

By Josh Weiss
Cloverfield (2008)

Grab a Slusho and raise it high to celebrate! The Cloverfield film anthology is finally waking up from its long slumber at the bottom of the ocean. That mysterious fourth chapter we originally heard about last summer continues to chug along from J.J. Abrams and his Bad Robot production banner, Variety confirmed Friday.

Currently without a title, the movie — which is now in active development at Paramount Pictures — will officially be helmed by Wounds director, Babak Anvari, who is set to work off a screenplay from Joe Barton (writer of The Ritual). Abrams will serve as producer alongside Hannah Minghella and Jon Cohen. Bryan Burk, Matt Reeves (director of the original), and Drew Goddard (screenwriter of the original) are on board as executive producers. Barton and Reeves were previously developing a Gotham Police Department spinoff of The Batman at HBO Max until the series was put on hold earlier this year.

There are no plot details on Cloverfield 4 at this time, and it's highly unclear if the next chapter will follow in the footsteps of its 2018 predecessor, The Cloverfield Paradox (directed by Julius Onah), whose ending set up a direct connection to the found footage creature feature that kicked off the franchise all the way back in 2008.

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While not very well-received by critics and general audiences, Paradox gained notoriety for a unique release strategy, in which it was first announced during Super Bowl LII before hitting Netflix immediately after the big game. The previous entry, 2016's 10 Cloverfield Lane (helmed by Dan Trachtenberg), told a completely unrelated story about a group of people (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman, and John Gallagher Jr.) hiding in a doomsday shelter, and kept the viewer guessing as to whether the world had actually ended.

"For me the definition of a Cloverfield movie is less that it’s part of a linear narrative and more in a Twilight Zone way," Abrams explained during an interview with NME in early 2018. "Big ‘what if’s: contained movies that feel like there’s more of a DNA thread as opposed to being a literal sequel. It’s more of a spiritual sequel. Like, this feels the way it felt when we were doing Cloverfield, like a crazy ‘what if’ thing. In truth, a lot of people say this movie [referring to Paradox] didn’t need to be a Cloverfield movie but the point of it is less that it’s telling the story of a particular creature or the characters that you knew before, and more that it’s a really weird, crazy, fun, scary, thrilling date movie. That’s how I imagine these movies and this, early on, felt like it could fit into that category.”

Paramount has yet to announce a release date for the new film. The first two Cloverfield titles have grossed over $279 million worldwide.