With this past Tuesday, January 18th, being the 10-year anniversary of the theatrical release of the unexpected sci-fi box hit, Cloverfield, fans were hoping for some sort of news on the anticipated third installment to the series. To much disappointment, there were no teasers released, no pictures, no trailer, no random earthquakes. Nothing… or was there?

It looks like J.J. Abram’s production company, Bad Robot Productions, has begun its viral marketing campaign for the third film of the Cloverfield universe, aptly named the ‘Cloververse’, supposedly titled ‘God Particle’. Late last night there was some activity taking place online and fans are going wild.

A little backstory on the puzzling release history of the films makes some sense considering recent developments. Back in the early months of 2007, a vague teaser trailer was released at Comic-Con for director Matt Reeves’ (Let Me In, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) Cloverfield film. Wanting to keep the project under wraps, no details were given regarding the plot and cast. The mystery shrouding the film caused a lot of hype, resulting in a few title changes to throw audiences off and a lot of highly realistic online marketing campaigns similar to the pre-release tactics of The Blair Witch Project. Websites for a fake Japanese energy company, Tagruato, a fake drink company, Slusho!, and more littered the internet. All of this highly intrigued alternate reality gamers, specifically those on the forums of ARG.com and Unfiction.com, immediately began investigating these fake goods and service sites. They uncovered MySpace profiles (later revealed to be the cast of the film), photos, posters, and teasers linked to this famed cinematic release.

Producer, Abrams, confirmed at the time that the only “official” site for the movie was 1-18-08.com. This site lead users to a page of time-sensitive Lovecraftian-style picture puzzles. If users kept the page open long enough they were graced with the sound of a horrifying monster’s roar sound byte and a seven-digit number displayed across the screen. Users discovered they could text this number and receive a monster sound ringtone and downloadable desktop or cell phone background picture of a destroyed city (oh the early 2000’s).

This viral technique of involving the audience and creating a tangible atmosphere around them in order to prepare for the release of the film was a very new concept at the time. The creators of Cloverfield, including writer Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods, World War Z) wanted to immerse and engage their audience before the movie was dropped out of nowhere on them. They truly mastered the art of building anticipation. When the film was finally released movie-goers could not get to the theaters fast enough. Cloverfield is a found footage film centered on a few friends played by a now well known cast including: Michael Stahl-David (Girls Against Boys), Mike Vogel (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Odette Anabele (The Unborn), Lizzie Caplan (Mean Girls), Jessica Lucas (Evil Dead) and T.J. Miller (Deadpool), throwing a going creature away party in an apartment in the middle of New York when a Godzilla-like monster attacks and destroys the city. It was met with some mixed reviews, but ultimately dominated the box office and was well received by critics and viewers alike.


The buzz about the movie eventually quieted down. The monster retreated to its hiding spot and remained dormant… for eight years.


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Bad Robot did some kicking around on the internet in early 2015 launching another viral campaign for what fans believed would be the sequel to Cloverfield. The Tagruato website was randomly updated calling the attention of alternate reality game seekers and Cloverfield fans across the internet. The sight contained elements similar to the 1-18-08.com site, but users were able to dig up limited information on a man named Howard Stambler and his young daughter.

On March 11th, 2016, as if something had dropped out of the sky, 10 Cloverfield Lane hit theaters across the country. The film, directed by Dan Trachtenberg (No Escape), written by Josh Campbell (The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian), Matt Stuecken, Damien Chazelle (La La Land), starring Marry Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), John Goodman (The Big Lebowski) and John Gallagher Jr. (Hush) was an instant hit. Winstead plays a young woman involved in car accident who wakes up in the underground bunker of a strange man, named Howard Stambler, who vows to keep her and another young man safe from the alien dangers that lurk the land above them.


This “blood relative”, as described by Abrams, was not a direct sequel to Cloverfield, but rather exists in the same universe and could possibly occur within the same time period. Abrams, Trachtenberg, and Winstead all have hinted and teased fans at wanting to return for a third film. Abrams mentioned on multiple occasions wanting to do a final installment to connect all of the stories that exist in the Cloververse at some point in his career.

In October 2016 Bad Robot released information regarding what most are sure to be the third Cloverfield film, titled God Particle. Again, no plot or cast details were given. Then, again, radio silence.

Last night, the timely update of the Tagruato website ignited the Cloververse out from its slumber and thus began the tidal wave of fan inquiry. The alternate reality site went live showing an incredibly blurry and cryptic page as seen below.

Hot at the Shop:

The image of a distorted 415 Unsupported Media Error box is seen on the screen with a sort of coding and progress bar below it confusing even the most savvy of online experts. The pixelated images in the background have yet to be deciphered, however, thanks to a few Reddit users, the very faint text box below the progress bar was translated to read:

Tokyo – January 18 2018: Tagruato has begun development on a revolutionary new energy technology in what CEO Garo Yoshida called a technological great leap forward for our planet. This renewable technology will take at least 4 years to complete along with another 6 years international regulatory bodies to bring the powerful revolutionary energy source by April 2028.

More news followed to confirm the official release date of God Particle being April 28th, 2018.

My personal favorite Cloverfield theory that has been floating around right now? Listen to this:


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The ominous upcoming film, A Quiet Place, starring John Krazinski (13 Hours: The Secret soldiers of Benghazi), who is also directing, and wife Emily Blunt (The Girl on the Train), is possibly another “blood relative” within the Cloververse. The film’s plot revolves around a family living completely silent in the woods in fear that any sound they make will awaken a terrifying, unidentified entity. Word on the street is the entity is that of our Cloverfield monsters who stir at the hint of a sound. New York City, being a very loud metropolis possibly awakened the dormant beast in Cloverfield, the same way Winstead’s character setting off a loud explosion to her bunker alarmed the creatures her captor was keeping her from in the final act of 10 Cloverfield Lane. Bad Robot is notorious for purposely leading fans off the radar more than once before but for now it’s all fun fandom speculation.

However, when you think about it, maybe it’s not as crazy as it sounds? When it comes to this particular film franchise the unexpected is ironically completely expected.