Cloverfield, the J. J. Abrams-produced horror hit released in 2008 that launched filmmaker Matt Reeves on the path of genre auteur, is getting a sequel.
Abrams’ Bad Robot banner and Paramount Pictures have tapped rising British scribe Joe Barton to pen the script for the project, which, unlike its predecessor, will not be in the found footage format, according to sources.
Abrams will produce along with Bad Robot head of film, Hannah Minghella. Reeves is not involved in the project.
Cloverfield was a monster movie, shot in the then-popular found footage style to reflect the growing ubiquity of video cameras. It followed a group of 20-something New Yorkers as they try to navigate the city during an attack by a giant monster. The movie was made under-the-radar and used a viral marketing campaign to tease out interest. The tactic worked: The movie, made for $25 million, had a massive opening weekend of $40 million and went on to gross $172 million worldwide.
It begat a "Cloverfield universe" which saw two more modestly-budgeted movies, 10 Cloverfield Lane and The Cloverfield Paradox, released in 2016 and 2018, respectively. Those movies were originally developed as separate movies but were folded under a Cloverfield banner tying them to a linked story with science fiction and monster themes. When Paradox disappointed critcally after being sold off to Netflix and with Abrams’ attention seemingly focused on his deal with WarnerMedia, it was presumed that the Cloverfield franchise was laid to rest. (But no brand in Hollywood ever truly dies, right?)
Details of the take are being kept hidden under Central Park.
Barton created and wrote the East-meets-West crime drama Giri/Haji BBC Two/Netflix. But he recently made headlines when he stepped in as showrunner for HBO Max’s Batman-themed Gotham City Police Department crime show after Terence Winter, the previous showrunner, departed over creative differences.
In the can for Barton is Invasion, an alien invasion movie that stars Riz Ahmed and Octavia Spencer that will debut on Amazon.
He is repped by ICM Partners, Grandview and UK’s Independent Talent Group.