Just after 4:00 on Super Bowl Sunday afternoon, in the midst of a million pre-shows and tail-gates, director Ava DuVernay unleashed this mysterious missive on Twitter:
Never forget that Ava started out as a publicist, so she knows a thing or two about building hype, but not long after the game began, we found out what she was talking about. A couple of weeks back, rumors abound the Paramount was selling the third film in their Cloverfield series, once titled God Particle, to Netflix. Last night, the streaming service premiered the trailer – which is no big deal, lots of movies debut their trailers during The Big Game™ (this year’s batch included Solo: A Star Wars Story, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom). But the catch was, Netflix was making the movie available for streaming immediately after the game, and thus looking to Disrupt the official watch-this-after-the-game selection of, um, some show where a CrockPot killed someone? (I’m not entirely up to speed on this portion of the story.)
And thus the film, newly retitled The Cloverfield Paradox, showed up on everyone’s Netflix homepage just after 10pm; a couple of hours later, the reviews began to arrive, with a general consensus that it really looked like a movie that had been delayed several times and patched together with reshoots and dumped by a studio in desperation to a streaming service. But it was certainly a new and interesting way to release a movie – and to get everyone to watch it before too much word got around about its quality.
Now if we could just get Netflix to put that kind of ad muscle behind Okja or Mudbound…