Cloverfield (franchise)

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The current logo of the franchise.
Directed by
Produced by
Screenplay by
Distributed by
Release date
Country United States
Language English
Budget Total (3 films):
$85 million
Box office Total (2 films):
$281 million

Cloverfield is an American science fiction horror anthology film series[1] and media franchise created and produced by J. J. Abrams consisting of three films, viral marketing websites linking the films together and a tie-in manga to the first film titled Cloverfield/Kishin (2008), set in a shared fictional universe referred to as the "Cloververse". The franchise as a whole deals with creatures from other dimensions attacking Earth throughout various decades, all as a repercussion of an experiment by an astronaut team aboard the Cloverfield Station in outer-space. Each film depicts the reality-altering effects of their study, which was meant to find a new energy source benefiting the depleted resources of our planet, only to open portals for assault from various beasts from deep space.

Cloverfield, the first film in the series, is a found footage monster film released on January 18, 2008, which was well-received by critics. After it, several films initially conceived as standalone features were modified to make them part of a franchise. The first sequel, titled 10 Cloverfield Lane, is a psychological horror-thriller film that was released on March 11, 2016, and like its predecessor received positive reviews from critics. The Cloverfield Paradox, a science fiction horror film, was released by Netflix on February 4, 2018. Unlike the previous two films, it received negative reviews.


Cloverfield (2008)[edit]

The first film of the series, released in 2008, is a found-footage monster horror film directed by Matt Reeves, produced by J. J. Abrams and Bryan Burk, and written by Drew Goddard. Before settling on an official title, the film was marketed as 01-18-08. The film, which is presented as found footage shot with a home camcorder, follows six people fleeing from a gigantic monster that attacks New York City while they are having a farewell party. The film was well received by critics and grossed over $170 million at the box office against a $25 million budget.

10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)[edit]

The second film, released in 2016, is a psychological horror-thriller film directed by Dan Trachtenberg, produced by Abrams and Lindsey Weber, and written by Josh Campbell, Matt Stuecken and Damien Chazelle. The film was developed from a script titled The Cellar, but under production by Bad Robot it was ultimately adapted to be set in the same universe as the first Cloverfield film, thus establishing the grounds for a franchise. The film follows a young woman who is held in an underground bunker with two men who insist that a hostile event has left the surface of the Earth uninhabitable. The film presents the questionable truth of such statements made by the owner of the bunker. The film is presented in a typical third-person narrative, in contrast to its predecessor's found footage style. Critical response was largely positive, and the film grossed over $110 million against a $15 million budget.

The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)[edit]

The third film is a science fiction horror film directed by Julius Onah and written by Oren Uziel and Doug Jung, based on Uziel's original spec script God Particle, which originally was wholly unconnected to Cloverfield. Set in 2028, the film follows a team of astronauts who are left stranded in space after they perform a particle accelerator test that causes their vessel, the Cloverfield Station, to travel into an alternate universe, from which they must find their way back. Meanwhile, the test causes other realities to open up on their home Earth, creating supernatural attacks across time.[2] After the script was purchased by Paramount and Bad Robot, Abrams saw ways to adapt the film to be a centerpiece of the Cloverfield franchise; with the particle accelerator accident, he liked "how something in the future could be an origin for something in the past" to explain the events of the previous films and set up for additional narratives.[3]

By December 2016, Paramount Pictures, removed God Particle from its schedule, and in its place a Cloverfield IMAX Film was added, to be released on February 2, 2018.[4] On January 2, 2018 the film's release date was pushed back to April 20, 2018.[5] The film's title was reported in January 2018 to be Cloverfield Station.[6] On February 4, 2018, during Super Bowl LII, a TV spot was shown announcing the film's title and a surprise release of the film on Netflix after the game. The film received mostly negative critical reception. Paramount executives stated that handing off the release to Netflix was an easy way to get instant return on the film, and the surprise reveal and release a good way to keep in line with the mysterious mystique in the franchise. This said, they clarified that they still have intentions of having theatrical releases for future films in the series.[7]


In March 2016, franchise creator and producer J. J. Abrams talked about having come up with an idea of what they could do next with the Cloververse franchise, and that he had an idea which, if they had the chance to make it, "could be [something] really cool that connects some stories".[8][9] Trachtenberg said he considers the ideas of doing a direct sequel to 10 Cloverfield Lane or another standalone Cloverfield movie as equally valid.

In February 2018, during a Q&A on his social media page, Abrams stated that in mapping out the franchise's overall plot, there is potential for character crossovers in future films. The producer confirmed that the idea of a team-up film starring Michelle and Ava, respectively the two characters played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, has been discussed and considered during the development of the franchise.[10]

Although the 2018 film, Overlord, was originally intended to be the fourth film in the series during its production, Abrams eventually announced that the film will no longer be a part of the franchise. The producer however confirmed a fourth Cloverfield film to be in development.[11] Abrams further described the film as a "true" and "dedicated" sequel to the first film, and confirmed that it would be theatrically released.[12]

Comic book[edit]

  • Cloverfield/Kishin (クローバーフィールド/KISHIN, Kurōbāfīrudo/KISHIN) is a manga and cross-media tie-in to the first film. It was published once a month on Kadokawa Shoten's website and consists of four chapters from January to May 2008.
Title Publication date(s) Writer(s) Illustrator(s) Note Ref
Cloverfield/Kishin January to May 2008 David Baronoff, Matthew Pitts, Nicole Phillips Yoshiki Togawa Tie-in parallel prequel/sequel manga to Cloverfield

Cast and characters[edit]

Characters Films Manga ARG Campaigns
Cloverfield 10 Cloverfield Lane The Cloverfield Paradox Cloverfield/Kishin Cloverfield 10 Cloverfield Lane The Cloverfield Paradox
2008 2016 2018 2008 2016 2018
Large-Scale Aggressor
Appeared Appeared Appeared Appeared
Conceived by
J. J. Abrams
Designed by
Neville Page
Conceived by
J. J. Abrams
Designed by
Neville Page
Conceived by
J. J. Abrams
Designed by
Neville Page
Robert "Rob" Hawkins Michael Stahl-David Michael Stahl-David
Elizabeth "Beth" McIntyre Odette Annable Odette Annable
Hudson "Hud" Platt T.J. Miller T.J. Miller
Marlena Diamond Lizzy Caplan Lizzy Caplan
Lily Ford Jessica Lucas Jessica Lucas
Jason Hawkins Mike Vogel Mike Vogel
Jamie Lascano Jamie Harlan Jamie Harlan
Howard Stambler
John Goodman John Goodman
Michelle Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Emmett DeWitt John Gallagher, Jr
Suzanne Cryer
Ben Bradley Cooper
Ava Hamilton Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Kiel David Oyelowo David Oyelowo
Ernst Schmidt Daniel Brühl
Monk Acosta John Ortiz
Mundy Chris O'Dowd
Volkov Aksel Hennie
Tam Zhang Ziyi
Mina Jensen Elizabeth Debicki
Michael Roger Davies
Molly Clover Nee
Mark Stambler Donal Logue Donal Logue


Production credit Films
Cloverfield 10 Cloverfield Lane The Cloverfield Paradox
Director Matt Reeves Dan Trachtenberg Julius Onah
Producer J. J. Abrams and Bryan Burk J. J. Abrams and Lindsey Weber
Writer Drew Goddard Josh Campbell, Matt Stuecken and Damien Chazelle Oren Uziel and Doug Jung
Composer Michael Giacchino
("Roar!: Cloverfield Suite")
Bear McCreary
Cinematographer Michael Bonvillain Jeff Cutter Dan Mindel
Editor Kevin Stitt Stefan Grube Alan Baumgarten


Box office performance[edit]

Film Release date Box office Budget Ref.
Opening weekend North America Other territories Worldwide
Cloverfield January 18, 2008 (2008-01-18) $40,058,229 $80,048,433 $90,715,593 $170,764,026 $25 millon [13]
10 Cloverfield Lane March 11, 2016 (2016-03-11) $24,727,437 $72,082,998 $38,134,000 $110,216,998 $15 million [14]
The Cloverfield Paradox February 4, 2018 (2018-02-04) N/A N/A N/A N/A $45 million [15]
Total $152,131,431 $128,849,593 $280,981,024 $85 million [16]

Critical response[edit]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore
Cloverfield 77% (202 reviews)[17] 64 (37 reviews)[18] C[19]
10 Cloverfield Lane 90% (278 reviews)[20] 76 (43 reviews)[21] B-[22]
The Cloverfield Paradox 16% (105 reviews)[23] 37 (27 reviews)[24] N/A
Average 61% 59 C+


  1. ^ "10 Things to Know About '10 Cloverfield Lane'". 
  2. ^ "J.J. Abrams' Mysterious God Particle Could Somehow Be The Next Cloverfield Movie - CINEMABLEND". October 27, 2016. 
  3. ^ Shepherd, Jack (February 8, 2018). "JJ Abrams on The Cloverfield Paradox, Star Wars 9, and going to the movies". The Independent. Retrieved February 9, 2018. 
  4. ^ "Paramount Dates 'Cloverfield' Imax Film, Removes J.J. Abrams' 'God Particle' From Schedule". Hollywood Reporter. December 28, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Cloverfield Sequel Release Date Moved to April". Slashfilm. January 2, 2018. Retrieved January 3, 2018. 
  6. ^ Leadbeater, Alex (January 21, 2018). "Has Cloverfield 3's Real Title Just Leaked?". Screen Rant. Retrieved February 4, 2018. 
  7. ^ "Paramount to Release JJ Abrams 'Overlord' Despite 'Cloverfield Paradox'". February 6, 2018. 
  8. ^ Erik Davis. "Exclusive: J.J. Abrams Talks '10 Cloverfield Lane' and Its Connection to the Larger 'Cloverfield' Universe". Fandango. Retrieved February 26, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Cloverfield: J.J. Abrams already knows what the third movie would be -". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 26, 2016. 
  10. ^ "J.J. Abrams Has Considered a Cloverfield Team-Up Movie". February 7, 2018. 
  11. ^ Lang, Bret (April 25, 2018). "'Overlord' Not 'Cloverfield' Movie, Says J.J. Abrams". Variety (magazine). Retrieved June 5, 2018. 
  12. ^ "Cloverfield 4 Is Not Overlord, But a "True" Sequel". Den of Geek. Retrieved 2018-06-05. 
  13. ^ "Cloverfield (2008)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 13, 2016. 
  14. ^ "10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 3, 2016. 
  15. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (February 4, 2018). "Netflix's Ultimate Super Bowl Surprise: 'The Cloverfield Paradox' – Watch Trailer". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 4, 2018. 
  16. ^ "Cloverfield series". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 4, 2018. 
  17. ^ "Cloverfield (2008)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved March 13, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Cloverfield reviews". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved March 13, 2016. 
  19. ^ "CinemaScore". Retrieved April 19, 2015. 
  20. ^ "10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved March 13, 2016. 
  21. ^ "10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved March 13, 2016. 
  22. ^ "CinemaScore". Retrieved April 19, 2015. 
  23. ^ "The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 11, 2018. 
  24. ^ "The Cloverfield Paradox reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved February 5, 2018.