Things are looking a little bit odd for the next Cloverfield movie. Paramount has been shifting the movie's release date for a long time, with its original release date slated for early last year. Recently, it was bumped to April 20 and now we may know why. It looks like the studio doesn't feel the movie is worthy of a theatrical release and, as such, Netflix is in talks to acquire and distribute Cloverfield 3. This first surfaced as a rumor recently but now looks to be a very real thing.
The Hollywood Reporter has several sources saying that Netflix is indeed in talks to acquire Cloverfield 3, which is rumored to be titled Cloverfield Station. According to their report, the talks are happening, but there's no deal in place yet. The move comes as a result of Paramount chairman Jim Gianopulos assessing the studio's release date and making some tough choices about what is worthy of a theatrical release and what isn't. Here's what one of the unnamed sources had to say about the situation.
"He sat down and looked at what is theatrical, what is not in this day and age."
We haven't seen any real marketing for Cloverfield 3 yet, which was previously going under the title God Particle. The only marketing of any kind is a strange viral website, but that doesn't really come with any significant cost to the studio. Were Paramount to release the movie theatrically, that would require posters, trailers and other marketing that gets very expensive. It sounds like the studio doesn't feel this movie is worth all of that, which is why Netflix may be the best way to go.
On the one hand, this could be great for fans of the Cloverfield franchise. Netflix could just drop the movie on their service as something of a surprise and people won't have to leave the comfort of their home to watch it. On the other hand, those who like the theatrical experience are going to be out of luck. Not to mention that this movie raises some red flags. Paramount also sold the upcoming Alex Garland thriller Annihilation to Netflix in every territory except the U.S., in part because the movie wasn't testing very well. So what does that potentially say about Cloverfield 3, in terms of quality? Usually, when a movie has its release date shifted around a bunch of times, it's not a great sign.
Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane were made on the cheap and managed to turn a nice profit as a result. However, Cloverfield 3 is said to have cost $40 million and even after that, the movie reportedly "needed some work." Unfortunately, producer J.J. Abrams is a little tied up right now with Star Wars 9, so he can't give it the attention it needs. So, Netflix it is. Another interesting point is that The Hollywood Reporter is still calling the movie God Particle, which implies that title may come back around, assuming Netflix does wind up distributing the movie.