Here’s How God Particle Became The Latest Cloverfield Spinoff
Good news for fans of last year’s surprise spinoff, 10 Cloverfield Lane. This year, the movie franchise will get its third entry, when Oren Uziel’s God Particle script gets turned into another Cloverfield story, releasing on October 27. Will it even be called God Particle at that point? Who knows.
Just like the pretty great 10 Cloverfield Lane, this was also conceived as a standalone story completely unrelated to J.J. Abrams’ 2008 monster mash. Upon reading and loving Uziel’s spec script, Abrams helped rework it to fit snuggly into the Clover-verse.
Of course, that doesn’t mean this is going to be a bona fide sequel, just like 10 Cloverfield Lane was its own beast until the last 10 or so minutes, God Particle is an original science fiction tale, now with a Cloverfield twist. In a recent interview with Collider, Uziel gave a pretty thorough explanation of how his script became a Cloverfield spinoff:
“It was written before 10 Cloverfield Lane and the expanded Cloverfield universe even existed as a thing. It was a spec that I wrote probably a year or so after Shimmer Lake, so it definitely existed as its own science-fiction. And then after years of, you know how scripts kind of hang around—people like them but for whatever reason they decided to make it and then suddenly everything fell into place with J.J. [Abrams], Bad Robot, and Paramount. I don’t know exactly when it became a Cloverfield movie, but I suspect in this current market where it’s just harder and harder to market an original movie of any kind, a science-fiction movie in particular, but I think everyone just knew if it fits—and it does—into that Cloverfield world, it should, and it can only help.”
As for how much of his script was altered to suit the Cloverfield storyline—actually, not much changed:
“We rewrote during production, but I’m not sure what it means to be part of the expanded Cloverfield universe, other than knowing what kind of quality and feel you’re gonna get from something that’s coming out of Bad Robot and J.J. It just sort of helps to give an understanding of like, ‘Okay I understand what type of movie this is gonna be.’ As far as specifics, I don’t think there is one specific thread that makes it a Cloverfield movie, I guess.”
In fact, it’s best to think of 10 Cloverfield Lane and God Particle as really expensive episodes of The Twilight Zone:
“I think if you can get that off the ground, which they are close, it’s very smart and also great for makers of science-fiction because it relieves you of that burden of like, ‘How are we gonna get people to get off their asses and into the movie theater to see something they’re not sure?’ It’s not a guarantee; the cast is different, we don’t know exactly what we’re getting, but if that stamp of approval of being part of the Cloverfield universe is enough, that’s a huge win. So I’m all for it. When you turn on The Twilight Zone, that’s sort of the way I think about it. I don’t know what this story is going to be, but I know it’s going to be a Twilight Zone story… It’s like an anthology for those kinds of movies, and I think if J.J., if what he’s doing is positioning himself a little bit to be the Rod Serling of J.J.-type science-fiction movies, more power to him.”
And if you’re wondering what the story is even about, we recommend steering clear of too many plot details. Half the fun of the previous films was how little audiences knew going into the screening. Nevertheless, here’s what Uziel had to say about his script and what sets it apart from other sci-fi stories:
“I guess for me sometimes those movies tend to be more concerned with whatever the obstacle is, and I’m more concerned with the characters’ relationships to each other and that obstacle I guess. So to me, when you say it’s a contained astronaut movie, I’m just curious what those astronauts are going through and what they’re experiencing and what the character story is, and what specifically the threat is often less of a concern to me. ”
God Particle or Cloverfield 3 or whatever it’s gonna be called is out October 27. It stars Ziyi Zhang, Elizabeth Debicki, Daniel Brühl, and Chris O’Dowd, and is directed by Julius Onah.
To help get you in the mood, why not revisit trailers for 2008’s Cloverfield and 2016’s 10 Cloverfield Lane: