J.J. Abrams' World War II Supernatural Movie 'Overlord' Nabs a Director

J.J. Abrams' World War II Supernatural Movie 'Overlord' Nabs a Director

Feb 02, 2017

J.J. Abrams

The always-busy J.J. Abrams will produce Overlord, a movie set during the famed D-Day invasion during World War II, and a director has just been hired, according to Variety. What makes the news unusual, however, is the premise of the movie and the director chosen to helm it.

Abrams and Billy Ray, who was nominated for an Academy Award for Captain Phillips, dreamed up the idea. As you might expect, it's an unusual take on a war movie. The story revolves around two paratroopers who are assigned to destroy a German radio tower during the D-Day operation in June 1944. The paratroopers reach their target behind enemy lines, but then discover that in addition to the German army, they must also battle supernatural forces "that are a result of a secret Nazi experiment."

If you're a fan of director Michael Mann, you might remember that he made The Keep, which was set during World War II and followed a German unit in Romania that comes in disastrous contact with supernatural forces. More recently, Frankenstein's Army followed Russian soldiers during World War II that come in disastrous contact with zombies.

Clearly, the basic idea isn't new. But the fact that Abrams developed the idea with Ray, a very talented writer who then wrote the first draft of the screenplay, which then received a "slight polish" from Mark L. Smith (The Revenant), says a lot about the high level that Abrams is aiming for.

So does the selection of Julius Avery to direct. The project was acquired by Paramount way back in 2007, but Variety says it's "gained steam" since Avery became involved and the studio has reportedly begun meeting with actors for the lead roles. Avery made a series of short films before helming Son of a Gun, an accomplished thriller about a jail break and a gold heist that starred Ewan McGregor, Brenton Thwaites and Alicia Vikander.

Our best guess is that the budget will be relatively modest, which will keep expectations in check. If high-quality actors come on board too, that will be another sign that Overlord will be more than just another World War II supernatural movie.

Categories: News, In Development, Geek, Horror
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