The third film in producer J.J. Abrams’ “Cloverfield” franchise may not be coming to a theater near you.
Paramount is in talks with Netflix to take over rights in most territories for the space station-set film starring Elizabeth Debicki, Daniel Brühl, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and David Oyelowo, according to an individual with knowledge of the project.
Director Julius Onah’s film — which was once titled “God Particle” — has bumped around Paramount’s release schedule. It was pushed last summer from Oct. 27, 2017 to Feb. 2, 2018. It was later moved to April 20 — still with no confirmed title, trailer or promotional materials.
Paramount had no comment; Netflix has not responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.
The film follows a team of astronauts aboard a space station who find themselves in danger after an experiment involving a particle accelerator makes Earth disappear.
The movie was re-engineered to be the third in Abrams’ series of “Cloverfield” films, which began with Matt Reeve’s 2008 found-footage monster-in-Manhattan movie and followed with Dan Trachtenberg’s 2016 thriller “10 Cloverfield Lane” starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead (pictured above).
Last month, Paramount forged a deal to give Netflix international streaming rights to the upcoming Natalie Portman-Oscar Isaac sci-fi thriller “Annihilation.”
Under that deal, Netflix will be able to stream director Alex Garland’s movie overseas less than three weeks after its North American theatrical release next month.
The “Cloverfield” maneuver is all the more surprising given that it risks alienating Abrams, who has served as a producer on two of Paramount’s biggest movie franchises, “Star Trek” and “Mission: Impossible.”
According to an individual who attended a Paramount town hall last fall, new studio chief Jim Gianopulos assured employees the studio was stable and would not be losing Abrams despite the sought-after filmmaker’s commitment to future “Star Wars” movies, including as director of next year’s “Episode IX.”