Following the humongous success of last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, visionary filmmaker J.J. Abrams turned his focus back towards his Bad Robot-produced Cloverfield series. In its marketing, Cloverfield (2008) seemed more or less like an updated version of Godzilla, but in reality it was actually an examination of the American psyche in the years following 9/11. In the film, we see some very poignant illustrations, things such as the severed head of the Statue of Liberty crash landing in the middle of a street – representing the desecration of American values; we constantly hear the main group of friends in the movie talking about their shock and confusion with regards to where this monster came from – it seemed to appear out of nowhere; we see people taking pictures and videos on their phones in the midst of a crises – stressing how we seem to treat everything as if it’s just for our entertainment, or to get more views on our various social media profiles, and…I could go on, but it’s clear that Abrams wants to work with people who are interested in making movies with deeper meaning.
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10 Cloverfield Lane was really a film about a woman (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who feels vulnerable, and has been running away from her fears all of her life. At the beginning of the film we see her driving a car and hear a voicemail left by her boyfriend who is pleading with her to come home. As the film goes on, it becomes clear that she is afraid of men, as a result of her past experiences, and that she’s been reluctant to face that fear. However, at the end of the movie, when confronted with a choice of whether to face the threat of the monsters or run away again, we see she decides to turn and face them, thus overcoming her fear.
It seems Abrams and Paramount are constructing a cinematic universe of sorts, but not one that’s necessarily linked by shared settings, characters and events, but rather connected by genre or subject matter. They focus the lens in on the human psyche, and our emotions and fears, and so on. In that regard, this series is interesting because it’s handling the idea of shared universes very differently than what we’ve seen in recent years from the likes of Marvel.
A report from The Wrap confirms that Abrams and Paramount are indeed in the process of developing a Cloverfield Universe, with more films on the way. According to the story, we may even see a new film released every year. As for the 50-year-old filmmaker’s upcoming movie God Particle, of course it is a part of the series. The film is said to be about a team of astronauts, who after making a shocking discovery are left fighting for their survival in some sort of alternate reality. Although this description sounds fairly similar to a lot of sci-fi pictures these days, we have no doubt that some deeper meanings will be underlying the action on the surface, much like that of the previous films.
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God Particle is scheduled for a February 24th, 2017 release.