‘The Cloverfield Paradox’ Was Already Shooting Before It Became a ‘Cloverfield’ Movie
Netflix’s unprecedented drop of The Cloverfield Paradox was a bit of a letdown, to say the least, and J.J. Abrams’ live Facebook Q&A (h/t The Verge) on Wednesday gave some insight into what exactly happened to make a promising movie such a big disappointment.
First of all, the movie didn’t start out as a Cloverfield movie — which we knew — and it was also partway through filming when Abrams’ Bad Robot announced that it had become connected to the Cloverfield universe.
Originally, it was written by Oren Uziel, who wrote a draft that was its own thing, and was around for a while. We started to think, ‘What are ways that this might fit into the world?’ But when we started shooting the movie, it was still something we were thinking about. Because the idea for the Cloverfield series was not so much that it be this narrative throughline, but more that they be these really fun sort of thrill rides. Like, if you imagine an amusement park, that’s a Cloverfield amusement park, and every ride has a different purpose, but they all connect in some way or another.
Sure, that’s a fun idea, but it would probably be better to plan out that amusement park first, rather than dumping a bunch of rides in the same place and hoping you can figure out some way to connect them later.
“While we were shooting, we were making adjustments,” Abrams said. “This was a movie that went through many different iterations as it went along.” And did those scenes with Ava Hamilton’s (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) husband seem tacked on to you? That’s because they were — apparently audiences in test screenings wanted to know what was happening back on the real Earth while our heroes were stuck orbiting the wrong one.
David Oyelowo, who plays American astronaut Kiel, said that no one had any idea what the title was or when it was being released until they got a conference call the day of the Super Bowl. “There was definitely something exciting about it, but also — we were all kind of on the call going ‘Yay!’ and then going ‘What? I don’t understand what just happened,’” he said. That’s pretty much how the rest of us felt when we finished watching the movie.