How Are the 'Cloverfield' Films Connected?

When movies share a unique word in their title, it's understandable that audiences expect there's [...]

When movies share a unique word in their title, it's understandable that audiences expect there's a narrative connection between them. In the case of the Cloverfield universe, this isn't exactly true, with 2008's Cloverfield and 2016's 10 Cloverfield Lane not offering any direct connections to one another. A third film in that universe is slated to hit theaters in April, which has already gone by three different titles. The upcoming film's writer, Oren Uziel, possibly described the connections in the film best by explaining that the titles act as a brand more than a narrative spectrum.

"Other than knowing what kind of quality and feel you're gonna get from something that's coming out of Bad Robot and J.J. [Abrams]," Uziel told Collider. "It just sort of helps to give an understanding of like, 'Okay I understand what type of movie this is gonna be.' As far as specifics, I don't think there is one specific thread that makes it a Cloverfield movie, I guess."

For many, "Cloverfield" is a word that has no real meaning, but for employees of Bad Robot Productions, that is the name of the exit on I-10 in Santa Monica, California that takes you to your office.

In the 2008 film, "Cloverfield" is the name used by the government of an event where a giant monster attacked New York City. The title doesn't refer to the monster, but rather the scope of destruction caused by the creature of unknown origin.

In the 2016 film, "Cloverfield" refers to the street on which Howard Stambler (John Goodman) lives. The film focuses on Stambler keeping individuals in his underground bunker in hopes of protecting them from an extraterrestrial threat, with the film not revealing any direct connection to the events of Cloverfield narratively.

Uziel's film was originally written under the name "Shimmer Lake," which was then changed to "God Particle," and has recently rumored to have changed to "Cloverfield Station."

In this upcoming third film, "A team of astronauts aboard an international space station find themselves alone after a scientific experiment involving a particle accelerator makes the Earth vanish. When a space shuttle appears, the space station crew must fight for survival following their horrible discovery."

Between movies like Cloverfield and Super 8 and TV shows like Alias and Lost, audiences have grown accustomed to Bad Robot Productions encouraging viewers to explore clues that appear throughout their stories, which often tie into fictional websites that represent individuals and organizations in these properties.

Currently, there is no explicit connection between the first two films in the Cloverfield brand, helping remind audiences that the name merely refers to the tone and quality of these experiences more than a narrative connection. A narrative thread could at some point tie all of the films together in some capacity, yet at this point, the connections are virtually nonexistant.

The upcoming third film is slated to hit theaters in April, with Netflix reportedly in talks to distribute it on their streaming service.