World War II films are practically their own subgenre by now, there aren’t a lot of movies about Nazi super science gone wrong. At least not anymore. But this fall, director Julius Avery is putting a touch of science fiction and horror into Overlord, in collaboration with executive producer J.J. Abrams. The film follows a few American paratroopers behind enemy lines on the eve of D-Day who are about to discover that zombies are all too real. However, Avery’s narrative is going for something more complex than simply showing the Americans as heroes without flaws.
“We have a scene in the middle of the film where there’s an American soldier doing something terrible,” said Pilou Asbæk, one of the stars of Overlord. “He’s doing something that you’ve never seen American soldiers do in movies. He’s torturing a guy. And at that scene, I almost felt a little bit of sympathy for Wafner, my guy. But only for a split second.”
Within the movie, Dr. Wafner may be one of the key figures behind the Nazi experiments gone wrong. He’s clearly one of the villains in the film, and yet the moment that Asbæk describes may make the audience question the morality of the “heroes.”
Avery also spoke with SYFY WIRE about the importance of integrating practical effects and prosthetics into Overlord to achieve a more realistic astentic.
“We wanted to have an in-camera practical feeling for this movie,” noted Avery. “I wanted to make it as visceral for the audience as possible. Keeping it as analog as possible was something that I really wanted to do. So prosthetics was a big part of it. We put Pilou through the ringer. He had to sit in a chair for five hours everyday.”
Overlord will reach theaters on Friday, November 9. For more details about the film from Avery and Asbæk, you can watch the entire video!