'Cloverfield' Direct Sequel Confirmed, Will Ditch Found Footage Concept

Cloverfield is set to return once again, this time as a direct sequel to the original film with a few significant differences. First, the film will ditch the anthology tag it carried with the pair of Cloverfield films that followed the 2008 original. Second, it's no longer a found-footage film.

The original Cloverfield was part of the found-footage trend around the time, delivering a monster movie from the perspective of a group of friends, including the cameraman named Hud, played by Silicon Valley's T.J. Miller. Replacing original director Matt Reeves will be screenwriter Joe Barton under J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot production label. Reeves is far too busy with his role directing The Batman with Robert Pattinson.

Cloverfield had a huge viral campaign preceding it, including a special manga and online AR game puzzles that created an entire universe for the film before it ever arrived in theaters. The film itself was a found-footage film following a group of friends at a going-away party that gets crashed after a monster invades New York City, leading to the characters doing their best to navigate the wrecked city to rescue friends and escape the destruction. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the movie was produced for $25 million and made $40 million in its opening weekend. The success continues worldwide, grossing $172 around the globe.

After this success, Cloverfield became a series of smaller budget sci-fi films that originally had their origins as separate projects. 10 Cloverfield Lane was the first to release in 2016, tying into the original film through the name and similar monster themes. This follow-up with Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Goodman earned some critical acclaim and had a decent showing at the box office. The same can't be said for 2018's The Cloverfield Paradox.

Despite a surprise Super Bowl announcement and debut on Netflix, Paradox did not hit the same as the previous films and featured moments that seemed tacked on to relate to the original Cloverfield film.

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The franchise has been dormant since then and the original film has stood alone for over a decade. Will audiences still want to flock to the film or will it be too little, too late? It'll also be interesting to see if we can get another Super Bowl surprise from the franchise. Fans can tune in to stream for free when the big game between the Tampa Bay Buccanneers and Kansas City Chiefs arrives.