More info i
Credit: Paramount Pictures/Bad Robot

WWII horror-thriller Overlord will parachute into full alternate history territory

Contributed by
Sep 7, 2018, 10:57 AM EDT

Director Julius Avery (Son of a Gun) is putting an Indiana Jones/Quentin Tarantino-esque spin on World War II in his upcoming action/horror/thriller Overlord.

Named for the operation that became the amphibious D-Day landings in June of 1944, the movie will start off like Saving Private Ryan and devolve into a mixture of Inglourious Basterds, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Man in the High CastleDead Snow, and the Nazi Zombies mode in the Call of Duty games. The protagonists are a group of American paratroopers who jump into Nazi-occupied France, behind enemy lines. 

While talking about the movie to Empire Magazine, Avery stated that the D-Day landings are a mere framing device, or "jumping-off point," that help kick the story off. "Once our heroes land, the film veers sharply into a fictional alternate history," writes Empire

The alternate-history element is a horrific Nazi experiment that's turning soldiers into violent and bloodthirsty monsters, the so-called "Übermensch" of Hitler's Nazi ideology. While this isn't what the Americans signed up to fight, they have to protect their own lives and put a stop to the madness, lest this brand of German mad science extend to the rest of the European theater.

Seeing the Third Reich dabble with forces it does not fully understand (to its detriment) is a classic Hollywood mainstay that can be traced back to the early days of Indy in 1981. When "The Master Race" is your villain, there's no need for moral ambiguity. 

"There's nothing better than watching Nazis get blown up," Avery said.

As a fan of B-movie grindhouse pulp, the director "wanted to put the audience inside the action and feel like they're riding shotgun with the soldiers."

Some stuff got so intense that even the stuntmen were spooked. For instance, Avery discussed their hatred of being placed in human-sized rubber latex sacks used by the Nazi scientists in the film. "One lost his nerve," the director revealed. "He was like, 'You can throw me out of a moving car, you can set me on fire, but I'm never going back in that thing.'"

Produced by J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot, Overlord will invade Fantastic Fest for its world premiere before opening in theaters on Nov. 9. The cast includes: Jovan Adepo (The Leftovers), Wyatt Russell (Lodge 49), John Magaro (The Big Short), and Jacob Anderson (Game of Thrones).