The Cloverfield Paradox promised fans insight into the monsters we’ve seen so far in the franchise, and it delivered that. Yet for every question that was answered, another was raised, in typical J.J. Abrams style.
While the surprised-released Netflix film expands the Abrams-produced Cloverfield universe via its space team and a particle acceleration program aboard the Shepard satellite, a deeper sense of mystery is created thanks to rifts now opened in the space-time continuum, inadvertently allowing alternate dimensions to cross over.
These breaches then allow the 2008 Cloverfield monster and the alien invasion in its 2016 sequel, 10 Cloverfield Lane, to run rampant. It’s highly likely they’ll also build the fourth chapter, Overlord, and its story of American paratroopers during World War II fighting off Nazis and their supernatural tools. Most importantly though, we learn that all these stories may not even be happening chronologically, but on alternate Earths thanks to these interdimensional transgressions, thus bringing to light the existence of a Cloverfield multiverse.
The Paradox Earths
Earth Prime acts as the origin point for this multiverse, and exists in Paradox where we see the Shepard’s experiments being conducted to create a renewable source of energy for a world that’s drained of natural resources and on the brink of war. When the team succeeds, it’s transported to another dimension, let’s call it Earth Two, where it displaces the Cloverfield space station that already exists there. With this alternate Shepard failing in its energy mission as a result, World War III erupts there on this second Earth where the only monsters are war-hungry humans.
The original Shepard team realizes they need to get back to their dimension, barely doing so but still leaving blueprints for Earth Two to try again in their space mission. The protagonists make it back home but by this time, Earth Prime has already been ravaged by a monster that looks exactly like the one from 2008’s Cloverfield. However, this one isn’t as tall as skyscrapers — it’s even taller, stretching out way into the clouds. This lends to the theory this Earth Prime isn’t the one from the original movie after all and that this monster is, in fact, the parent.
The Original Cloverfield Earth
Apart from director Matt Reeves having a smaller monster in the 2008 original, what also hints this is an alternate Earth is that there’s no mention of an energy crisis and a world on the cusp of war. It’s worth noting that Paradox is set in the near-future but Cloverfield occurs in 2008, so this time discrepancy, plus the overall difference in the landscape and political climate hint that the two versions of New York we see being destroyed in these movies are different.
Abrams said in the past that this 2008 monster was an infant, searching for its mother. This now adds to the theory that Cloverfield’s creature was displaced from its parent when the rifts began to open up in Paradox, with the parent becoming marooned on the aforementioned Earth Prime instead. Cloverfield did tease what appeared to be a space capsule falling into the ocean, so there’s a chance that there may well be some bleeding over of the Shepard team that dropped back into Earth Prime after all.
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