EXCLUSIVE: Following the success of Top Gun: Maverick and Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Paramount Pictures is looking to get the wheels turning on another popular franchise as sources tell Deadline a new Cloverfield pic is in the works with Babak Anvari directing and Joe Barton writing the script. J.J. Abrams is producing from Bad Robot, along with Hannah Minghella and Jon Cohen. Bryan Burk, Matt Reeves, and Drew Goddard will executive produce.
As with any Cloverfield pic, plot details are being kept under wraps. It also is unknown how this new installment will link to its predecessors, whether its straight sequel to the original or an anthology piece that is set in the Cloverfield universe.
The 2008 original film was not only a smash hit at the box office but critically acclaimed, specifically for its groundbreaking found-footage style. Reeves directed that pic, which helped launch his career and gave Paramount a new universe to explore for future installments. The Cloverfield marketing campaign was ahead of its time as well, beginning with a trailer that played like a found-footage comedy at a house party that quickly unveiled its sci-fi elements. It is considered among of the best teaser trailers in recent years.
This new installment is the first time Paramount has announced a new Cloverfield film as being in development; prior sequels 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) and The Cloverfield Paradox, which ended up premiering on Netflix in 2018, were developed as properties with different titles and were not unveiled as Cloverfield pics until the trailers premiered.
As for Anvari, the film marks his first studio tentpole, having cut his teeth in the arthouse thriller world. His first film, 2016’s Under the Shadow, won him a BAFTA for Outstanding Debut Filmmaker. His second film Wounds, starring Armie Hammer and Zazie Beets, premiered at Sundance 2019 and at Cannes Directors’ Fortnight and was released later that year on Hulu. Babak also has partnered with Lucan Toh and their company, Two & Two, has a TV development deal at AMC, where they are developing a slate of projects.
He most recently directed his first major studio film with the Netflix pic I Came By, starring George Mackay, Kelly Macdonald and Hugh Bonneville. The film was released in late August and gathered over 30 million viewing hours in its first week on the platform.
Anvari is repped by WME, Grandview, Independent Talent Group and Ziffren Brittenham. Barton is repped by CAA, Range Media Partners and Independent Talent Group.
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