New Cloverfield Movie Quite A Paradox, Solidifies Cloververse

The Cloverfield Paradox is meant to be a prequel to Cloverfield. Yet, paradoxically, the prequel is set twenty years AFTER the movie it is meant to proceed.

By Sean David Hartman

When I went to see Tranformers: Revenge of the Fallen, I witnessed a movie trailer that put me in awe. The film began as a simple going-away party being filmed by T.J. Miller. It ended with the head of the Statue of Liberty being thrown across Manhattan.

We had no plot. We had no context. We didn’t even have a name. Just a date: 01-18-08.

J.J. Abrams is well-known for using secrets and viral marketing to promote his films, and this was no exception. Eventually we learned that this movie would be Cloverfield, a monster movie depicting a giant squid-like beast, colloquially known as “Clover”, destroying New York City.

With added viral marketing, we would learn more details about this creature. We would learn Clover was an infant. We would learn from the end of the movie that it was alien, and “still alive.” And most importantly, we would learn the date of the Cloverfield case was in 2009. That date would be important, because it would be the only legitimate criticism that us Cloverfans really had.

So many of us OG Cloverfans have anticipating the next stages of the movie from the beginning. The first Cloverfield left us with so many questions. Where did the monster come from? Are there more? What’s next?

Like many Cloverfans, we all got excited for the second film, 10 Cloverfield Lane. And like many Cloverfans, I was quite disappointed. Where we expected answers, we got more questions. Though we did get confirmation of the “alien” nature of these creatures, it did not reveal any information of the first Clover monster, but rather adding what seemed to be an extraterrestrial invasion.

We seemed to have learned that the Cloverfield franchise will be focused on an alien invasion that hit globally. This seemed to coincide with the opening text of the first Cloverfield movie, which stated that there were “multiple sighting” of the Cloverfield case.

When the original plot was leaked for the third Cloverfield movie, then called The God Particle, many Cloverfans hypothesized that this would be the true origin story. Something we did up in space called for these aliens. We would finally have answers.

The Cloverfield Paradox does solidify the theme and dynamic of the Cloverfield franchise. It seems that the series itself is taking the direction not as a continuous storyline but as a multi-genre anthology. Cloverfield takes the role of found-footage monster movie, while 10 Cloverfield Lane acts as a psychological thriller.

The Cloverfield Paradox itself goes the way of futuristic sci-fi. And the fourth film announced in the franchise is said to be more supernatural in nature.

The Cloverfield Paradox is meant to be a prequel to Cloverfield. Yet, paradoxically, the prequel is set twenty years AFTER the movie it is meant to proceed.

Now without spoiling the theoretical cause of the Cloverfield case, one can easily see how the Paradox itself could have jump-started the incidents. But it seems like the dates being off will cause damage to the timeline itself.

There is, however, one way that the timeline can be salvaged. A fourth movie in the works, so far titled Overlord (though knowing Abrams, it will likely garnish another Cloverfield themed title), is set even further in the past, during World War II.

It could very much be that the “Cloverfield Paradox” did not necessary create the first Cloverfield monster. Maybe these monsters have been here before. Viral marketing, particularly the graphic novel Cloverfield/Kishin, linked Clover to Japan.

It could also be the Paradox mentioned in the movie broke the spacetime continuum, and that the incidences created by the Paradox not only affected the Year 2028, but also previous years.

Hopefully Overlord will answer our pressing questions.


Sean David Hartman is a freelance reporter for the Central Florida Post, with a wide portfolio ranging from entertainment to politics. He is a centrist political operative and blogger and a student at UCF. Hartman is autistic and bipolar, and supports the neurodiversity movement.