The Story Behind Netflix Releasing Cloverfield Paradox After The Super Bowl
The Cloverfield franchise's marketing has always been just as exciting as the movies themselves. It's a series predicated mostly on surprises, which makes it difficult to maintain once audiences expect something different. According to J.J. Abrams, the whole point of The Cloverfield Paradox's shock, post-Super Bowl release was to continue capitalizing on that element of surprise. The producer took the stage during a recent Facebook Q&A panel and explained:
We were talking to Paramount and the truth is we were trying to figure out like what was the most fun way to release the movie? And literally it just came out of that conversation. Because people sort of knew this movie was coming, they knew it was a Cloverfield movie and the series had always been so much about surprise, we were literally talking about what was the most fun way we could surprise people with this. We thought, 'Well I wonder if this is even a possibility?' We went and had a meeting with Netflix and it was this totally weird, creepy, top secret meeting [about], 'What if this could happen?' And they were so great at Netflix.
It sounds like every decision made about the film's debut stemmed from a desire to keep the surprising themes of the Cloverfield franchise intact. Nobody knew what the first movie would be when it initially debuted, and then 10 Cloverfield Lane evolved that premise by not making its anthology premise entirely clear during the marketing. With those two ideas set up, Abrams, the folks at Paramount, and Netflix came up with a crazy idea of just dropping the film after the Super Bowl in an unprecedented move.
That level of secrecy involved quite a bit of lying, but it also sounds like it was fun for many people who were in on the secret. The Cloverfield Paradox director Julius Onah continued during the Facebook Q&A panel and explained:
It was a lot of lying, a lot of keeping secrets from even our own friends and family. It was a lot of fun. It's so rare to kind of be able to just drop a movie on the whole planet.
That comment seems to echo other remarks made by those close to the development, production, and release of The Cloverfield Paradox. Specifically, CinemaBlend recently sat down with Paradox star Elizabeth Debicki during the press junket for Peter Rabbit, and she explicitly acknowledged that the virtually-unprecedented level of secrecy associated with the film was part of its charm. Thus she had no interest in discussing it until we could actually watch it.
The Cloverfield Paradox is now streaming on Netflix. Check out our in-depth review of the film, and hop over to our movie premiere guide to see what other films are set to debut in 2018.