The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)
The future unleashed every thing
The Cloverfield Paradox is a 2018 science fiction film produced by Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot. The third entry in the Cloverfield anthology series, it became available to stream worldwide via Netflix on February 4, 2018, with the exception of China, where it will be distributed by Paramount. The Cloverfield Paradox is a conventionally-shot film like 10 Cloverfield Lane rather than a found footage film like the original Cloverfield, simultaneously showing events taking place on a space station and on the Earth. The film does loosely tie into the events of the previous films, demonstrating the existence of a multiverse and offering an explanation for how paranormal creatures such as the monster from Cloverfield and the aliens from 10 Cloverfield Lane entered the respective realities of those films.
In the near future, Earth is on the verge of exhausting its energy sources. As countries prepare to go to war over the scraps, an international team of astronauts prepares to test the Shepard particle accelerator onboard Cloverfield Station, in the hopes of creating a limitless energy source. British communications officer Ava Hamilton is encouraged by her husband Michael to join the mission while waiting in line at a gas station, so she can save the world and perhaps their relationship.
Hamilton’s fellow astronauts are American commander Kiel, German physicist Ernst Schmidt, Brazilian doctor Monk Acosta, Irish engineer Mundy, Russian engineer Volkov, and Chinese engineer Tam. Their first test of the particle accelerator is a failure, as are their next 45 attempts over the next two years. On the day of the third-to-last test the station can make, Hamilton talks with Michael about the growing chaos on Earth, then watches a video of their children, who were killed in a house fire. Over breakfast, Volkov all but accuses Schmidt of sabotaging the tests for an advantage in the impending German-Russian war, leading to a brawl between the two men. Kiel rebukes them. Before the test starts, Monk watches an author on the news claim that the accelerator could open gateways for monsters from alternate realities.
The Shepard particle accelerator finally succeeds, but overloads seconds later, flinging the astronauts onto the ceiling, starting a fire aboard the satellite, and damaging the oxygen tanks. After they extinguish it, they realize that they are no longer orbiting the Earth—the test either displaced them in space or vaporized the planet. Kiel orders the bickering astronauts to focus on survival. Hamilton finds the gyro that should control the ship’s orientation systems missing, right before Tam discovers an injured woman who has somehow appeared behind a wall. The crew frees her.
On Earth, a series of explosions awakens Michael. Fighter jets fly overhead as he tries to find out the cause. On Cloverfield Station, the strange happenings continue: the players on a foosball table begin spinning on their own before changing uniform colors, Mundy finds all the worms in the science lab have disappeared, and Volkov begins suffering from a lazy eye and pain on the side of his head. He creates a gun using a 3D printer and draws it on Volkov and Tam before collapsing. The astronauts tries to help him, but he soon dies, then vomits up the missing worms. The mysterious woman, who now appears in a photo of Cloverfield Station’s crew instead of Hamilton, awakens. She introduces herself as Mina Jensen and is distraught to learn that none of the astronauts know who she is, as she has worked with all of them except Tam. Embracing Hamilton, she warns her not to trust Schmidt, as he sabotaged the Shepard.
Kiel checks Schmidt’s messages and learns that he has been taking orders from German intelligence to prevent the Shepard from working until Russia was no longer a threat. He locks him in the airlock. On Earth, Michael learns that Cloverfield Station has disappeared and drives to the hospital where he works, only to find it in ruins. A massive, long-limbed shape passes overhead. He finds a child in the rubble named Molly and rescues her.
While repairing damage to the ship, Monk’s arm becomes trapped in and ultimately severed by the metal plate that Mina appeared behind. Schmidt, who suddenly free from the airlock, finds Mundy’s arm crawling towards him. They cage it. Schmidt theorizes that the bizarre happenings aboard the ship are the result of a paradox caused by the Shepard—two alternate realities colliding. Mundy’s arm writes out a message: “Cut Volkov open.” They find the missing gyro inside his chest. Reinstalling it, they find that they have indeed been displaced: the Earth is still there. Able to receive messages but not transmit them, they receive word of a war in Europe that has raged for 14 months. The Cloverfield Station from this reality has just exploded, with debris landing in the Atlantic Ocean. Schmidt believes a second successful firing of the Shepard will return them to their own dimension.
Michael drives the child to a friend’s underground shelter. While repairing the ship, Tam becomes trapped in a chamber which suddenly fills with water and is killed when it ruptures. Jensen, as the Shepard engineer in her reality, takes her place. She shows Hamilton that her children are still alive on this Earth; the power cell she installed so they could read at night never exploded. Kiel tries to talk her out of traveling down to see them after they reactivate the Shepard, but she is convinced the Hamilton from this universe will make the same fatal mistake. A localized magnetic field kills Mundy after he completes the repairs, also causing a CO2 explosion which cripples the ship. Kiel determines that the only way to save themselves is to detach the maintenance ring, requiring himself, Hamilton, and Monk to travel outside. He ultimately sacrifices himself to do so, leaving Hamilton in charge.
Jensen knocks out Hamilton before they can return to Earth in an escape pod. She quickly recovers and cancels the launch of the pod. Determined to prevent Cloverfield Station and its solution to the energy crisis from leaving her dimension, Jensen kills Monk with Volkov’s gun and wounds Schmidt. As she confronts Hamilton, he manages to get the jump on her with a crowbar, allowing Hamilton to escape, but is shot again. Attacking her with a rod from the Foosball table, Hamilton manages to get the gun and shoot two holes into a window, launching Jensen into space. After tending to Schmidt’s wounds, she sends her alternate self the data used for the successful Shepard firing and a warning about the power cell.
Hamilton and Schmidt return to their Earth and prove that the Shepard works, but the monsters it unleashed remain. As their capsule descends towards the Delaware coast, one rises out of the clouds and roars.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Julius Onah
- Written by Oren Uziel, Doug Jung
- Produced by J.J. Abrams, Lindsey Weber
- Executive Producing by Bob Dohrmann, Tommy Harper
- Music by Bear McCreary
- Cinematography by Dan Mindel
- Edited by Alan Baumgarten
- Production Design by Doug J. Meerdink
- Assistant Directing by Mark Anthony Little
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Ava Hamilton
- David Oyelowo as Kiel
- Daniel Brühl as Ernst Schmidt
- John Ortiz as Monk Acosta
- Chris O'Dowd as Mundy
- Aksel Hennie as Volkov
- Zhang Ziyi as Tam
- Elizabeth Debicki as Mina Jensen
- Roger Davies as Michael
- Clover Nee as Molly
- Jordan Rivera as Ayana Age 7
- Michael Stokes III as Isaac Age 7
- Celeste Clark as Ayana Age 4
- Nathan Oliver as Isaac Age 4
- Donal Logue as Mark Stambler
- Suzanne Cryer as Newscaster
- Ken Olin as Radio Voice
- Simon Pegg as Radio Voice
- Greg Grunberg as Voice of Joe
Weapons, Vehicles and Races
The Cloverfield Paradox began life as a Oren Uziel spec script titled God Particle. In this telling, the astronauts testing the particle accelerator were all Americans, unknowingly helping the military develop a weapon to end a war against the European Union. Following the Earth's disappearance, they allow a team of European astronauts onboard and one of their crew members turns up dead. Paramount announced the film on November 30, 2012, and planned to release it under its low-budget Insurge label, with J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot serving as the production studio and Julius Onah as the director. The project was developed at the same time as 10 Cloverfield Lane, though 10 Cloverfield Lane finished filming before Paramount closed Insurge, leaving God Particle in limbo for almost a year.
Principal photography on the film began in Los Angeles on June 10, 2016, and concluded in September. Reshoots were later conducted to "clarify character beats and tie the film to the [Cloverfield] franchise’s universe." No longer constrained by Insurge, the film's budget expanded to $45 million.
On July 17, 2017, Paramount opened a Twitter account for a Slusho truck, Slusho being the name of the fictitious soft drink whose parent company Tagruato inadvertently awakened the monster in the backstory for Cloverfield. A physical truck appeared at San Diego Comic Con several days later, serving beverages to attendees. By completing a small puzzle involving a Snapchat filter, attendees could sign up to receive a Slusho bobblehead. @SLUSHOTRUCK wrote about stops in six American towns and cities from July 17 to August 6, although it was only spotted in San Diego. Each place was the location of, or near, a large power plant.
On January 18, 2018, the tenth anniversary of Cloverfield's theatrical debut, the tagruato.jp website featured in the alternate reality games for that film and 10 Cloverfield Lane was updated. Only the main page is accessible, displaying an error message amid heavy distortion of the original site. Beneath and behind the error message is a press release announcing Tagruato's pursuit of a "revolutionary new energy technology," which is projected to be ready by April 18, 2028. The next day, Reddit user jnutttzzz discovered that the URL 04-18-2028.com led to a garbled video of a person saying, "That is why I'm trying to warn you about the dangers of Tagruato is trying to do." On January 24, both sites updated, with tagruato.jp displaying a new article about Tagruato partnering with companies called Oslo One and Norway Renewable. Audio from 04-18-2028.com mentioned an author named Mark Stambler, presumably a relative of Howard Stambler from 10 Cloverfield Lane. The character created a Twitter account, @TheMarkStambler, to deny any involvement with the videos, claiming that they were "most likely a student-designed hoax."
Packages containing Slusho bobbleheads, which also included a certificate of authenticity and pamphlet on the Cloverfield Energy Initiative, began to arrive at the homes of signatories on January 27. A third video on 04-18-2018.com, posted the same day, revealed that Mark Stambler was a professor, and his book was about the real intent behind Tagruato's Clean Energy Initiative. Stambler tweeted another denial that his face was in the videos, adding, "My students are clearly taking a lesson plan about temporal anomalies too far."
The 04-18-2028.com video from January 30 included the phrase "third floor, by the lamp," a detail which prompted Stambler to notify the New York City Police Department. Five minutes after his Tweet, @SLUSHOTRUCK announced an impending tour of the East Coast. From January 31 to February 2, it posted about visits to three locations in close proximity to nuclear power plants. Tagruato.jp updated with a warning that the company was executing a 20-year plan to "steal the rest of the world's energy," as well as a January 2007 article in Hebrew about a temporary closing of Highway 90 near the Dead Sea.
On February 1, Stambler began to message several users on Twitter, cautiously asking for help. The following day, he passed along two videos he received from an unknown source, showing Kiel's mission logs aboard Cloverfield Station after the appearance of Jensen, before deactivating his account. Following each video, he wrote, "They said something about getting someone else's attention on the 418 site within the next few days. And that whatever they were sending, would show me what I need to write. If any of that means anything to you, please let me know." 04-18-2028.com updated for the last time on February 4, the same day the film was released on Netflix, with Stambler displaying the cover of his book, The Cloverfield Paradox.
Concerned about the box office prospects of The Cloverfield Paradox, Paramount sold nearly all of the rights to the film to Netflix for over $50 million in January 2018, with the exception of Chinese and home video distribution. Netflix did not announce its acquisition until February 4, when it released a TV spot during Super Bowl LII and launched accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The film became available to stream immediately following the game.
- Main article: The Cloverfield Paradox/Gallery.
- God Particle (Working Title)
The Cloverfield Paradox has an 19% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 131 reviews. The site's Critical Consensus reads, "Brilliant casting is overshadowed by a muddled mix of genres and storylines that scratch more heads than sci-fi itches in The Cloverfield Paradox."
Paramount DVD/Blu-ray (2019)
- Region: 1 (DVD) or A/1 (Blu-ray)
- Discs: 1
- Audio: English (Dolby Atmos and Dolby TrueHD 7.1), German, Castilian and Latin American Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese (Dolby Digital 5.1)
- Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Polish, Swedish, Thai
- Special Features: "The Making of The Cloverfield Paradox" (14:23) and "Shepard Team: The Cast" (14:48) featurettes
- Notes: To be released on February 5, 2019. Audio on the DVD is limited to English, Spanish, and French, while subtitles are limited to English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish. The Blu-ray has also been packaged with Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane.
Alternate Reality Game
- Aside from Clover himself, The Cloverfield Paradox contains numerous references to previous films in the series:
- Audio from a Slusho radio ad briefly plays alongside the Bad Robot logo.
- The word "Tagruato" appears on an electrical panel.
- Suzanne Cryer, who portrays the newscaster interviewing Mark Stambler, also played Howard Stambler's doomed neighbor in 10 Cloverfield Lane.
- Most of J.J. Abrams' projects incorporate the word "Kelvin" as a tribute to his late grandfather, Henry Kelvin. In The Cloverfield Paradox, as in Super 8 and 10 Cloverfield Lane, it appears as the name of a gas station. Later, it can be seen on a hatch aboard Cloverfield Station.
- A Slusho bobblehead, nearly identical to the one given away as part of the film's alternate reality game, rattles during the first successful test of the Shepard Particle Accelerator.
- One of the panicked messages Michael reads on his phone as Clover's species arrives on Earth reads, "Did the Martians finally figure out a way to get here?" Howard uses a nearly identical phrase in 10 Cloverfield Lane.
- Official Facebook page
- Official Twitter account
- Official Instagram account
- @SLUSHOTRUCK on Twitter
- Tagruato's site
- @TheMarkStambler on Twitter
- Undated The God Particle script by Oren Uziel
This is a list of references for The Cloverfield Paradox. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: 
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