Ten Ways The Cloverfield Universe Connects
Here are ten ways the Cloverfield movies interact with each other!
How The Cloverfield Films Connect
It may be the most important modern movie franchise, but it's also one of the most confusing. Of course, that just makes it more fun to speculate about and debate how each movie connects with the others. There are some obvious connections in each of the films and some that are much more difficult to find. The world(s) of Cloverfield are rich with a deep mythology lurking under the surface of each of these stand-alone films. Here are some clues as to how each film is connected.
10. The Monster a.k.a. Clover
The first Cloverfield film is a giant monster movie. That monster is seen again in The Cloverfield Paradox first when we see a silhouette resembling the original "Clover" walking through the ruined city, just as Michael (Roger Davies) rescues Molly (Clover Nee). As Abrams' confirmed around Cloverfield's 2008 release, the film's titular monster was "just a baby", making some fans eager to see what exactly a full-grown version of the creature would look like. At the end of Paradox we get to see just that - an adult monster reaching above the clouds to let out a loud roar. While some might think the adult monster is just baby Clover all grown up, it could be that these are different monsters entirely as Michael says there are multiple creatures rampaging across the planet. However, it's important to remember that Cloverfield takes place in 2008 and Paradox is set in 2028, so it could very well be the same monster all these years later. Even though it seems as if the U.S. military kills the baby Clover in the first film, a transmission at the end of the credits tells us (when played backwards) that "It's still alive!"
9. The Stambler Brothers
The appearance of Mark Stambler (Donal Logue) is another potential connection. Through the Cloververse's extensive ARG (augmented reality game) campaign, fans began to discover choppy videos of Stambler, in which he waxes poetic about what monsters the particle accelerator's "paradox" could cause as he does in the film's news footage. While what Mark Stambler is saying is significant enough, the very mention of his name opens a whole other can of worms altogether. The prevailing theory is that he's the brother of Howard Stambler, the character played by John Goodman in 10 Cloverfield Lane. Both brothers seem to share a similar preparedness about a sort of oncoming apocalypse. You can think of them as the prophets of this universe, warning humanity of impending doom.
8. The Tagruato Corporation
Paradox also contains another rather subtle Easter egg to the Stambler brothers, with a control box in the film featuring the Tagruato logo. The Japanese company has been a weird sort of enigma within the Cloververse, as the films' ARG has linked Tagruato to two major things - deep-sea drilling and research, which reportedly led to them finding the main ingredient in the soft drink Slusho! and the technological company, Bold Futura, which Howard Stambler worked for before essentially devoting his life to his conspiracy theories. Over the years, fans have assumed that Tagruato's deep-sea drilling led to the appearance of the original Cloverfield monster, but the company's appearance in Paradox could indicate that they caused it by helping create the particle accelerator.
7. The Slusho! Drink
As previously mentioned, Slusho! has a weird place in the Cloververse - something that is certainly echoed by its brief cameo in Paradox. The adorable-sounding drink company has a role in all three of the franchise's films (as well as in episodes of Alias, Heroes, Fringe, as well as the films Super 8, and 2009's Star Trek). Cloverfield opens with a going-away party for Rob Hawkins (Michael Stahl-David), who had accepted a job at Slusho! and was soon set to move to Japan. The drink can also be briefly seen in 10 Cloverfield Lane, during the film's gas station scene. In Paradox, a Slusho! bobblehead can be seen on board the Shepherd, continuing the mythology even further. The Slusho! company is owned by the large Tagruato corporation who seem to be connected to all of this.
6. The Kelvin Company
The third company name that can be seen in Paradox is Kelvin, a gas station chain also seen in another Abrams production, Super 8 as an homage to Abrams' grandfather Harry Kelvin. Within the Cloververse, the gas station was first seen in 10 Cloverfield Lane, as Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) was seen filling up her car. The Kelvin logo returns twice in Paradox, appearing first as a gas station that Ava and Michael visit, and later on a hatch that Commander Kiel (David Oyelowo) opens. Does the Kelvin manufacture both gasoline and space stations? Or does the Kelvin in Paradox's first universe sell gasoline, while the one on Jensen's (Elizabeth Debicki) universe built the Shepherd?
5. The Newscaster and the Screaming Woman
Actress Suzanne Cryer's newscaster character opens a whole new can of worms too. Cryer can be seen interviewing Stambler early on in Paradox, and creates another connection to 10 Cloverfield Lane in the process. In Lane, Cryer played the role of "Screaming Woman", who begs for Michelle to let her in to Howard's bunker before dying. Cryer is much less recognizable in 10 Cloverfield Lane, making her return to the Cloververse something that viewers wouldn't immediately catch. But for those who have, it creates a whole scope of questions. Is Cryer playing the same character? If each Cloververse film is really set in their own separate, but parallel, universes, how do the versions of Cryer's character differ from each other? Does Cryer's character in 10 Cloverfield Lane also have ties to the Stamblers? Could she have found out that her interviewee Mark's brother built a bunker and tries to break in?
4. Space Worms
This connection is very loose, but it's still made fans speculate nonetheless. In 10 Cloverfield Lane, Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.) tells Michelle about Howard, and mentions that she should "hear his theory on mutant space worms." As can be seen in Paradox's second act, space worms do play a unique - and rather gross - role, resulting in the death of Volkov (Aksel Hennie). Is this a coincidence? Or could it be something more? Why are the worms on the station? What is Howard's theory? Every answer only leads to more questions.
3. The Survival Bunkers
There are also plenty of subtle Cloververse homages throughout Paradox, which serve as connections in their own right. The first big one comes when Michael and Molly try to rush for safety, which Michael finds in a friend's bunker. For franchise fans watching the film, this created a little bit of worry, wondering if 10 Cloverfield Lane's Howard - or someone tied to him - would be involved with that bunker. A later homage occurs in the film's final moments, as Ava (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and Schmidt (Daniel Bruhl) escape down to Earth in a pod. While the coast they fall into isn't the same, many have seen this as an homage to the ending of Cloverfield, which showed some sort of mysterious object falling from the sky into the water. Could the Cloverfield satellite be tied to the Shepherd - or be another universe's version of it?
2. A Particle Accelerator and a Bright Red Flash of Light
One of the lines of dialogue from 10 Cloverfield Lane seems to connect that film's alien invasion to the Shepherd firing up. In the film, Emmett describes the attack as the following: “It looked like a flash. Bright red. Like an explosion from way far off. It wasn’t like fireworks. Naw, this was more like something you’d read about in the Bible… This wasn’t like anything I’d ever seen.” As some eagle-eyed fans have noticed, the Shepherd's particle accelerator undergoes a color change when entering full power, turning from purple to bright red. This certainly seems to support the theory that the Shepherd's actions caused each of the other film's incidents, despite them occurring at drastically different points at time.
1. Event at 18 minutes and 20 seconds
The original Cloverfield shares a connection with Paradox that genuinely has to be seen to be believed. At 18 minutes and 20 seconds into Paradox, the Shepherd particle accelerator is officially launched - syncing perfectly with the first rumblings of the monster in Cloverfield. This symmetry also has another layer when you pay attention to the dialogue being spoken in the Cloverfield scene. In it, Jason Hawkins (Mike Vogel) tells his brother Rob (Michael Stahl-David) to "Forget the world, and hang on to the people that you care about most." Not only is the line the last thing said before the monster arrives, but it also captures the plot of Paradox almost too perfectly. Hamilton tells her alternate reality self to, "Whatever you're doing, stop. Go to your children right now. Kiss them. Hold them for as long as you can." It's also sure to make fans look at Paradox - and the two films before it - in all kinds of new ways.