Be warned, spoilers for 10 Cloverfield Lane and its totally bonkers ending inbound.
Ever since Cloverfield first debuted 8 years ago, beckoning audiences with mysterious posters, trailers and a revolutionary viral campaign, fans have been clamouring for a sequel. And now in 2016 we finally got one. Or did we? Upon first glance 10 Cloverfield Lane seems like a different beast entirely with the only thing linking this contained thriller with a sci-fi twist for an ending and the 2008 monster movie being the word Cloverfield in the title. Delve a little deeper however and you can uncover a myriad of possible connections between the two films and maybe even a connection or two to the upcoming third Cloverfield film currently titled ‘God Particle’. Let’s take a look.
If the events of Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane do indeed take place in the same universe then we have to ask ourselves why the events of the first film weren’t mentioned at all in 10 Cloverfield Lane. From the technology seen in the film we definitely know that ‘Lane’ takes place after the events of the previous film which was set in 2008. I’m guessing that the events of the first Cloverfield have just become another past event and wouldn’t be mentioned constantly in conversation although it’s weird that none of the 3 characters in ‘Lane’ asked “Hey, do you think the chemical or alien attack might actually be another monster attack like what happened in New York in 2008?”
Now, while it isn’t explained in the film, the viral marketing campaign and the manga comic series of the first film tells us that the monster from the first Cloverfield movie known as ‘Clover’ is an ancient sea creature living at the bottom of the ocean which was wakened from its slumber by a falling satellite which is briefly seen at the end of the movie. This can be tied into the alien invasion storyline from ‘Lane’ by extrapolating that the satellite that woke Clover was hit by the incoming aliens either accidently or on purpose. The aliens may have detected Clover and purposefully woke it up as a test of Earth’s defences against such a threat to see how easy or difficult invading earth could be without actually revealing themselves.
Sticking with the falling satellite as an important story point, we discover in 10 Cloverfield Lane that John Goodman’s character Howard worked on satellites. This may just be a little nod to the first film and as far as the connections go kinda like how JJ Abrams puts the word Kelvin in all his films and the first Cloverfield film had the Dharma Initiative logo from Lost hidden in the beginning; just a little easter egg and nothing more. However the viral marketing campaign reveals a deeper connection.
From the marketing material for 10 Cloverfield Lane we discover that Howard worked for the company Bold Futura which is the same company that built the satellite that was downed in the first Cloverfield film and is known for its military contracts, advanced technology and space exploration. The space exploration arm of Bold Futura is likely to make a sizable appearance in the third Cloverfield film currently titled ‘God Particle’ which sounds like a placeholder title if ever I heard one and is set on a space station which is left stranded after the Earth completely disappears. Could this be part of the aliens plan? When Michelle escaped the bunker in ‘Lane’ could the Earth be in a completely different position in the galaxy and she didn’t realize it? Maybe the aliens teleported the Earth closer to their home world so it could be easier to mine or something crazy like that.
Speaking of crazy it’s time for a completely mental fan theory. Maybe Bold Futura discovered Clover at the bottom of the sea and purposefully set their satellite crashing down to wake it up and let the military kill it. Using its military contracts, Bold Futura would then be allowed to experiment on the body of Clover and managed to create bio-weaponry based on the monster using its DNA in a Jurassic Park-style twist. These bio-weapons went wrong or became self aware and then escaped and they are what we see at the end of 10 Cloverfield lane, not aliens. In the film we do see that the space ship isn’t exactly a space ship and has a mouth which looks similar to the creature Clover.
The information I’ve used to concoct these creative connections all come from the viral marketing of both films, especially that of the first Cloverfield movie. Back in 2008 there were no plans for a Cloverfield franchise like there is now (apparently we will be getting one film per year) and so it is possible that the viral campaign for Cloverfield and therefore the explanation of the monster is no longer canon. It is possible that new lore can be written which tells us that the satellite at the end of Cloverfield was actually a UFO dropping off Clover as a first wave of the alien attack or as a test of Earth’s defences.
Or maybe there are no connections at all and the film series is completely anthological in nature similar to anthology series like The Twilight Zone or Black Mirror and are only connected by the title Cloverfield with each film being a cool twist on a genre. Although if this is the case then why the mention of Bold Futura and why would JJ Abrams call 10 Cloverfield Lane a “Blood Relative” of Cloverfield and not just straight up say that it is an anthology film series. Let’s hope that, one way or the other, ‘God Particle’ or one of the other incoming Cloverfield films reveal the true nature of the Cloverfield universe.
Do you have any theories on how the Cloverfield films are connected? Let me know in the comments and geek out with me about Sci-fi on Twitter @kylebrrtt.