Last year, JJ Abrams and newbie director Dan Trachtenberg surprised movie fans everywhere by revealing, with no buildup whatsoever, that they’re trapped John Goodman and Mary Elizabeth Winstead in a basement for several weeks and made a Cloverfield sequel.
Well, not really a sequel as such, but something vaguely like it. New alien monsters in a movie called 10 Cloverfield Lane kicked off the Cloverfield shared universe, because if you’re a director in the modern era and you’re not working to build a shared science fiction universe, then you’re missing out on all that sweet, sweet money that these things make.
Naturally, after this, and the twist surprise in Split that hey, M Night Shamalan is also building a shared universe without warning anyone first, people are a little suspicious of anything that comes out of JJ Abram’s production studio, Bad Robot.
This definitely applies to Overlord, an upcoming movie from the studio that’s directed by Julius Avery, and which is due for release in October of this year. The Hollywood Reporter has described the project, which isn’t getting an awful lot of fanfare, as being about American paratroopers during World War II.
According to the article:
“As they approach their target — a Nazi-occupied village with a German radio tower — they realize that they are a part of something bigger than a simple military operation. They then take on supernatural forces as part of a Nazi experiment.”
As The AV Club points out, this certainly does seem like a perfect opportunity for a Bad Robot to take a left turn into Cloverfield territory. All it takes is for one Nazi scientist to get his hands on some kind of alien technology, and there’s a supernatural army waiting to happen. We’ve all seen Doctor Who, we know that alien technology can very quickly be used as the logic behind anything from zombies to unicorns to the Loch Ness Monster.
At the same time, though, as wonderful as this idea might sound, it would limit Bad Robot if the studio were never able to make another movie that doesn’t fit within the Cloverfield universe (or multiverse, depending on how you look at it). Maybe Overlord is just going to be a good old fashioned, Indiana Jones-esque Nazi punching supernatural adventure.
Either way, it’s a movie from the studio that made Cloverfield and its sequel, so if you like that, this film’s probably going to be more of the same. If you hate JJ Abrams’ reliance on the Mystery Box and copying older movies frame for frame, maybe this won’t be for you.
In the meantime, we’ll be working on the biggest fan theory of them all: The Force Awakens is secretly part of the Cloverfield universe!
How else do you explain the rathtars?