Netflix in Negotiations to Acquire Next “Cloverfield” Movie From Paramount (Updated)

Cloverfield DuoParamount

[Update 02.04.18 4:30 p.m.: Netflix has confirmed the Tracking Board’s initial Twitter report that it has acquired the next Cloverfield movie, which we now know is titled The Cloverfield Paradox. The film will be available to watch on the streaming service immediately following the Super Bowl. Our earlier report is below.]

Netflix is in negotiations to acquire global rights (with the exception of China) to the next CLOVERFIELD movie from Paramount, which recently struck a deal with the streaming service for Annihilation.

I tweeted this news on Monday afternoon after I “overheard” it on the ground in Park City. But the truth is, I heard it from a source and asked Netflix, which did not respond to my inquiry. Since it was unconfirmed, I labeled it as a rumor, but with Netflix awfully quiet at Sundance so far, it seems they have bigger fish to fry than indie movies that lack a clear, commercial hook.

The new Cloverfield movie — rumored to be called Cloverfield Station, and formerly known as God Particle — doesn’t have that problem. It boasts a strong international cast including David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Chris O’Dowd, Daniel Bruhl, Elizabeth Debicki and Zhang Ziyi. Given the latter actress’ involvement, it seems like a smart move for Paramount to hang onto theatrical rights in China.

The reason Paramount may be willing to walk away from this film is that it’s significantly more expensive than the last two low-budget Cloverfield movies, with a rumored cost of $40 million. Hypothetically speaking, if Netflix came in and offered $50 million before Paramount even started spending for an ad campaign, why wouldn’t the Melrose studio take a guaranteed $10 million profit? Another reason Paramount seems willing to let it go for the right price? It was greenlit by a prior regime, and with J.J. Abrams focused on directing Star Wars: Episode IX for Disney, new Paramount chief Jim Gianopulos may not be eager to indulge Bad Robot. Remember, it’s not just the cost of a theatrical release for a movie that is rumored to “need work” that matters, it’s all the resources the studio would have to spend, like time and energy.

Julius Onah directed the sci-fi movie, which was produced by J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot. Expanding the Cloverfield universe into outer space, the story follows the crew of a space station who must fight for their survival after a scientific experiment involving a particle accelerator goes horribly wrong.

The new Cloverfield movie had been slated for theatrical release on April 20, but whatever it’s called, we may get to see it on the streaming service a whole lot sooner. We’ll update this post should Netflix decide to respond. In the meantime, stay tuned…

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