The self-appointed ‘Cloververse’ truly formed in 2016, when out of nowhere we found out a movie titled 10 Cloverfield Lane was months away, and the film went on to be a big hit. Following that success, signs heavily pointed to another Paramount project, again produced by original Cloverfield director J.J. Abrams‘s Bad Robot Productions, this one titled God Particle, as the next part of the Cloververse.
God Particle‘s link to Cloverfield was confirmed last year, but the film has now reportedly hit a snag and is going through some changes only three months before it is expected to arrive in cinemas. According to THR, Netflix is now in talks to acquire the film – also known as Cloverfield Station – from Paramount.
Why? Reportedly, the film was shot between June and September 2016, but when Jim Gianopoulos took over as Paramount chairman in mid-2017, he looked at the upcoming films on their slate and went on to decide what he deemed theatrical in this day and age, and what he did not.
Add in the fact that God Particle has turned out to be a more costly effort than 10 Cloverfield Lane – unsurprising considering it revolves around astronauts in a space station – and cost upwards of $40 million, that put a strain on Paramount’s wallets, especially when Abrams wanted to tinker with the film in post-production, but wasn’t able to as he now has his hands full with Star Wars: Episode IX.
Thus, after a disappointing year for Paramount where their blockbusters underperformed and their supposed Oscar hopefuls weren’t even close to being nominated, they are looking to make some changes in 2018 and sell the rights to God Particle to Netflix in what will likely be a pretty hefty deal considering Netflix’s funds.
This comes in the wake of another deal between Paramount and Netflix, where the studio sold the international rights to Alex Garland‘s Annihilation to the streaming giant after some heated disagreements over the film’s commercial appeal between producers.
So, what does this probable deal mean for the Cloververse? Abrams stated he wanted to create a Twilight Zone-esque anthology series of vaguely-related sci-fi films under one banner. But, if one of those movies is owned by Netflix, what does that mean? Does Abrams’ Bad Robot move their whole production to Netflix? Or will God Particle not be seen as canon anymore?
It’s hard to say at this point. What we do know is that with the Disney/Fox merger and now deals between supposed competing industry giants, the film industry is quickly changing as producers and studios scramble to work out what the future of Hollywood is going to look like.