Posted on Monday, March 20th, 2017 by Ben Pearson
J.J. Abrams fans love a good mystery, and it looks like we have another one on our hands. Back in February, we heard that Son of a Gun director Julius Avery would be directing a WWII film called Overlord for Paramount and Bad Robot. But now a new piece of information has come to light that may indicate the film is part of the slowly-growing “Clover-verse.” Let’s explore the possible Overlord Cloverfield connections.
Overlord Cloverfield Sequel?
Thanks to a press release tweeted out by The Tracking Board’s Jeff Sneider, we now know the film will star Fences actor Jovan Adepo (who played Denzel Washington’s son in that movie) and rising star Wyatt Russell, who’s been great in everything from 22 Jump Street to Black Mirror to Everybody Wants Some!! And before we start speculating, take a look at the synopsis for Overlord so we’re all on the same page:
On the eve of D-Day, American paratroopers are dropped behind enemy lines to carry out a mission crucial to the invasion’s success. But as they approach their target, they begin to realize there is more going on in this Nazi-occupied village than a simple military operation. They find themselves fighting against supernatural forces, part of a Nazi experiment.
The news that’s raising eyebrows is that Overlord is being produced not only by Abrams, but also by Lindsey Weber. She produced last year’s 10 Cloverfield Lane, Dan Trachtenberg’s contained thriller that became the second entry in the nascent “Clover-verse,” a burgeoning anthology series where filmmakers tell (very) loosely connected science fiction stories. So could Overlord be a new entry? It’s certainly possible, and considering Bad Robot’s love of secrecy; it’s incredibly unlikely that they’d come out and openly cop to that at this stage in the game.
Remember, we didn’t even know 10 Cloverfield Lane was a Cloverfield movie until less than two months before it opened in theaters!
How The Cloverfield Movies Connect
(Spoilers ahead for both Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane.)
I have a theory about this, and I’m pretty confident about it. But first, let me provide some context. When I spoke with Trachtenberg for an interview last year, he told me 10 Cloverfield Lane is “not on the same timeline” as Matt Reeves’ 2008 hand-held original, and he described the two movies as “separate freestanding stories.”
But even if the two didn’t technically share a timeline, they did share a couple of common elements: a drink brand called Slusho! and references to Tagruato, a Japanese deep-sea drilling company that was a key part of both films’ ARG campaigns. Tagruato is the parent company of both Slusho! (the company Michael Stahl-David’s character Rob works for in Cloverfield) and Bold Futura, a tech company that John Goodman’s character Howard used to work for in 10 Cloverfield Lane before he built his bunker.
Cloverpedia describes Bold Futura as “a contractor-for-hire engaged in the conception, design, manufacture and integration of advanced technology products for the military, arms manufacturers and space exploration organizations.” That part about space exploration seems especially relevant considering Bad Robot has a space movie called God Particle in the works. The film was once pegged as a potential third entry in the Clover-verse, but one of its stars, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, seemed to throw some cold water on that fire when she said she didn’t know about the connection. Interestingly, she described that movie (which is being directed by Julius Onah) as “a total standalone sci-fi, space thriller.”
The reference to Bold Futura in 10 Cloverfield Lane was only in the film for a split second, and it was in a return address on an envelope in Howard’s bunker. You could watch the entire movie without having seen the original Cloverfield and the film functions perfectly on its own. However, if you did know about the connection, it adds another level of fun and intrigue to the spiritual sequel. Since these references aren’t explicit or made a big deal out of in the movies, it’s easy to imagine a scenario in which Bold Futura is referenced in God Particle and Gugu Mbatha-Raw legitimately has no idea that’s a connection to another movie.
How Overlord Could Fit Into The Clover-Verse
So here’s my theory. Overlord could fit into the Clover-verse by revealing the origins of Tagruato, the parent company I mentioned earlier. Overlord is set during World War II, and the Japanese surrendered in September of 1945. Cloverpedia says Tagruato was established in – wait for it – 1945. Nazi experiments and supernatural forces sound like something this sketchy company could easily be involved with, So if this is indeed a Clover-verse movie, the origin of that company is exactly the kind of thing that the filmmakers could slip in to keep a loose sense of continuity without forcing people to come in with previous knowledge of any other movies. It’s a win-win for the studio: they get the diehard fans who will make the connections at home and talk about them online, while not alienating (pun intended) general audiences.
Julius Onah‘s God Particle stars Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo, Chris O’Dowd, Daniel Bruhl, Zhang Ziyi and Elizabeth Debicki as crew members aboard a space station who find themselves alone after a scientific experiment causes Earth to apparently disappear. When another space shuttle appears, the space station crew must determine if those aboard are friendly or enemies. The movie was originally scheduled to premiere on February 24, 2017, but has since been removed from Paramount’s release schedule.
Meanwhile, the studio announced an untitled Cloverfield IMAX movie will arrive in theaters on October 27, 2017. It’s unclear whether that movie is a reworked version of God Particle or something else entirely, but we’ll find out soon enough.
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