J.J. Abrams is known for taking audiences on high-tech flights with movies like Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek, and series like Westworld, Fringe, and Almost Human. But Abrams is equally capable of going backward in time for stories that explore history while often adding a supernatural twist to the material.
As a director, Abrams took audiences to 1979 for the Spielberg-influenced science-fiction tale Super 8. As producer, he visited the early ’60s for his adaptation of Stephen King’s novel 11.22.63. Abrams will also produce A Woman of No Importance starring Daisy Ridley as a real-life WWII-era spy who came to be known as one of the most dangerous women in the world.
WWII figures heavily in Abrams’ plans, with the filmmaker also set to tackle the D-Day-set supernatural thriller Overlord, a movie he is hard at work casting. According to THR, the film has added a pair of new lead actors in Wyatt Russell and Jovan Adepo, the first two actors to be announced. Julius Avery has already been tabbed to direct for Abrams’ Bad Robot from a script by Billy Ray and Mark L. Smith.
The newly cast Russell and Adepo will play American paratroopers who drop into a Nazi-occupied village on a mission to destroy a radio tower, but quickly discover that something bigger (and presumably more supernatural) is going on than they first thought. Russell’s credits include the cop comedy 22 Jump Street, as well as Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some and a memorable episode of Black Mirror. Adepo recently appeared as Denzel Washington’s troubled son in the Oscar-nominated Fences, and also has been a featured player on the series The Leftovers.
Though Overlord would seem to spring from J.J. Abrams’ historical bent, perhaps the real movie to keep in mind when considering the film is Abrams’ Cloverfield. No one knows for sure but speculation is that Overlord could actually be the next chapter in Abrams’ loosely-connected series of Cloverfield films, making it a follow-up (of sorts) to 2016’s sleeper hit 10 Cloverfield Lane, a movie whose Cloverfield tie-in was kept a secret all through its production (there is still some doubt that the movie was originally conceived as a Cloverfield sequel at all).
With his high profile in Hollywood, everything J.J. Abrams does is going to be followed with great interest, and Overlord is no exception. Young actors Wyatt Russell and Jovan Adepo are getting a big boost by hooking up with Bad Robot to parachute into WWII and face whatever nightmares Abrams and his team have conceived for them.