Paramount and J.J. Abrams are bringing a big budget WWII zombie film to the screen this November! Sounds like Castle Wolfenstein, and that’s a good thing.
Operation Overlord was the name given to the Normandy Invasion of France by the Allies. In this fun re-imagining, the Nazis are running super soldier tests and making zombie troops to form “A thousand year army.” Unkillable, and terrifying. Not sure how you get them pointed in the right direction, but those Nazi mad scientists have a knack for these sorts of things, I guess. This will be Abram’s Bad Robot productions first R-Rated film, and from all appearances has the blood and action combination of Saving Private Ryan and Dead Snow. Which, if you haven’t seen, you should do yourself a favor and catch that gonzo WWII zombie indie film. Granted, this has the full power of Paramount behind it, so compared to Dead Snow, this will likely feel more massive in scope. The film is being directed by Julius Avery, whose previous films include Son of a Gun and Jerrycan… so this is a big step up for him, scope wise. Good luck, Mr. Avery!
The chance for this movie to be splatter-tastic, with machine guns and flamethrowers cutting down waves of zombies, and the zombies making lunch of G.I.’s… and with the kind of money that Abrams can bring to the table? This could be special! And, we all know that Abrams, being the Spielberg disciple that he is, will place the emphasis on a clever script and giving the audience an entertaining ride. The cast is largely lesser-known up-and-coming actors, with the leads being British actor Jovan Adepo (Fences and The Leftovers), Wyatt Russell (Everybody Wants Some! and 22 Jump Street) Iain De Castecker (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Mathilde Olliver (studio feature debut), and Bokeem Woodbine (Spiderman Homecoming, Riddick). Keep in mind, Abrams has a penchant for finding rising talent like Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Zachary Quinto, and Chris Pine… not to mention the entire cast of LOST.
Paramount has been largely absent from horror in recent years, but remember this is the house of Friday the 13th, Pet Semetary, and The Ring… so they do have a track record, albeit a while ago. They recently got back in the game with A Quiet Place, and that did boffo box office, with $332,000,000 on a worldwide gross, coming off a $13,000,000 budget. The fact that Paramount is back is hugely encouraging. We know Disney won’t come to the table with any R-rated fare, and since they just bought Fox, that removes one of the other big studios from the equation. This is that land that Universal operates in, historically, and Warner Brothers has had some recent success with It, and when you add in the fact that Blumhouse and A24 have been releasing Oscar-nominated and audience-pleasing horror fare, a movie like Overlord could be a big piece of wood to the bonfire that is the current golden age of horror that we are in the middle of.
Also, for those of you of a certain age, this movie seems like a Castle Wolfenstein computer game come to life. Achtung! Halten sie! RRRRARRRRRGHHHH!!! Ah, good memories.
Overlord is Rated R for a whole mess of violence and is due for a theatrical wide release on November 9.