Mark your calendars — February 27, 2017 will see the release of another Cloverfield movie, less than a year after its predecessor 10 Cloverfield Lane hit theaters in March 2016. The Wrap reported Wednesday that producer J.J. Abrams’s next film, God Particle is in fact yet another sequel to the 2008 found footage monster film Cloverfield.
The fact that this news is coming only four months in advance of the film’s release, fits with Abrams’s notorious secrecy, even if it doesn’t match 10 Cloverfield Lane‘s two-month marketing schedule. Despite Bad Robot’s protective nature regarding their upcoming projects, there are enough details out now concerning the God Particle to draw a few conclusions about what we can expect from the next Cloverfield movie. So let’s review.
1. The stars and director
As with the first two Cloverfield films, Abrams is acting only as producer for God Particle. Julius Onah (The Girl Is in Trouble) directs the latest film from a script written by Oren Uziel (a co-writer on 22 Jump Street). The film stars stars David Oyelowo (Selma), Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ziyi Zhang, Elizabeth Debicki, Daniel Brühl (Captain America: Civil War), and Chris O’Dowd.
2. The basic plot
Science-savvy readers might have guessed from the title that the God Particle has something to do with the Higgs boson. The plot takes the Cloverfield series into outer space to follow a group of astronauts aboard an American space station who use a particle accelerator to mess with the laws of nature. Soon they find that the Earth has apparently disappeared from space, and then begin receiving signals from a newly-materialized space station nearby. Intrigued yet?
3. The scientific background
According to the Inverse, writer Oren Uziel first conceived of the idea for God Particle after hearing that physicists had discovered the Higgs boson, or the “subatomic particle that bestows mass on every object in the universe.” Scientists who understand such things (I sure don’t) have been warning ever since of the particle’s destructive potential. Stephen Hawking expressed his own concern that the particle could destroy all life on Earth if “a quantum fluctuation creates a vacuum ‘bubble’ that expands through space and wipes out the universe.”
4. What we can speculate
Hawking’s concern provides some useful context for the mysterious synopsis of God Particle, and the real life scientific mystery that inspired it. It seems likely that the characters will somehow alter the fabric of space and time through the Higgs boson. Like previous films in this new anthology series, the plot will almost certainly go far beyond its relatively grounded concept, perhaps offering yet another apocalyptic scenario and a cool monster glimpsed only in the film’s final minutes.
It’s hard to say much about what to expect from director Julius Onah, a Nigerian-born filmmaker whose only full-length feature so far is last year’s The Girl Is in Trouble, which received mixed reviews. Past Cloverfield films have also been helmed by relative unknowns, and Onah has been involved in the project almost since its inception.
5. There will be more
Any Cloverfield fans who are concerned their favorite anthology thriller series will end with its third entry can put those worries to rest. Paramount and J.J. Abrams are partnering to continue producing one new Cloverfield film per year, at least for the foreseeable future. Clearly, both parties are interested in using the suspenseful, extraterrestrial, yet intimate tone of the first two Cloverfield films as a starting point for their own ongoing “shared universe.” Only time will tell if they can maintain the thrilling consistency of the first two entries.
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