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Fans discover a new connection between Cloverfield and The Cloverfield Paradox

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If you ask most people what they remember about Netflix’s The Cloverfield Paradox, it’s probably that it was a movie released immediately after the Super Bowl — and honestly, that’s for the best. The movie is … not good. But it does loosely tie into producer J.J. Abrams’ larger, more interesting Cloverfield cinematic universe and, as pointed out by Reddit user Rammen4, it even includes a secret connection to the first Cloverfield movie that went undiscovered up until now.

[Ed. note: this post contains spoilers for The Cloverfield Paradox]

If you didn’t catch up with the movie in the last 11 months or don’t remember what happened, let’s briefly recap: The Cloverfield Paradox follows the crew of a space station called the Cloverfield as it is sent into space to fire off an experimental particle accelerator in hopes of creating renewable energy to help save a dying earth. The accelerator activates and tears a hole in the universe, connecting a variety of different dimensions and setting off the events of the original Cloverfield — probably.

The end of The Cloverfield Paradox contained an explicit tie-in to the theoretical, larger Cloverfield universe: the appearance of the original movie’s monster at the end (in a sequence that basically has nothing to do with the rest of the movie).

As it turns out, this isn’t the only connection between the first Cloverfield and Paradox. If you start the two movies at the exact same time, the moment that the particle accelerator is first fired in Paradox syncs up exactly with the first appearance of the monster in the original Cloverfield. It’s difficult to say if this really means anything for the larger Cloverfield timeline, since opening dimensional portals isn’t exactly easy to track, but it’s a fun bit of movie trivia for the series — and a satisfying enough explanation for Paradox’s extremely strange pacing.

The reason Paradox’s connections to the larger Cloverfield universe are so tertiary has to do with the way Abrams has orchestrated the series so far. While most movie franchises over the last several years have leaned into the idea of creating a shared universe and carefully plotted sequels, Cloverfield has basically worked in the opposite direction.

The first movie was a surprise hit with little to no real room for a sequel. Rather than trying to expand out from that film, Bad Robot, the production company behind the series, purchased a script called The Cellar, and adapted the material into a Cloverfield-universe sequel called 10 Cloverfield Lane. The movie barely ties into the original; there are theories that a brief scene at the end, in which it becomes clear that extraterrestrial forces have invaded the United States, could line up with the otherworldly attack of the first movie. Other than that, it’s just a really well-made thriller.

Hoping to do the same thing with the third movie in the “franchise” Bad Robot picked up a script called God Particle, which had spent years in production-hell jumping between major studios, and retrofitted Cloverfield elements into things like the name of the space station, the end of the movie and, as it turns out, the timing of when the crew of the Cloverfield first test the particle accelerator.

Despite rumors that Overlord was going to bow as a “secret” Cloverfield movie in October, it’s unclear if and when Abrams might pick the franchise back up or if future movies will tie back in to the events of maligned The Cloverfield Paradox. For now, that’s one mystery without any clues.

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