J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot are reuniting with director Julius Avery for a superhero movie titled The Heavy. Abrams and Avery made headlines last month at CinemaCon when they debuted footage from the intriguing (and bizarre-looking) supernatural WWII thriller Overlord, which Avery helmed and Abrams produced. Abrams further made waves by declaring that despite what previous reports would have everyone believe, Overlord is not a secret Cloverfield movie and exists separate from that franchise.
While Abrams and Bad Robot have worked more on franchise titles than original ventures in recent years, they do have some non-IP projects in the pipeline. In addition to Overlord and The Heavy, Abrams and Bad Robot are developing the sci-fi fantasy series Demimonde for HBO and have Daisy Ridley set to star in the sci-fi/fantasy drama Kolma. Abrams is also producing the fast-approaching Castle Rock, a Hulu series inspired by the collective works of Stephen King.
It remains to be seen if Overlord and Kolma really are original films and not Cloverfield movies as rumored, but The Heavy genuinely sounds like its own thing so far. According to THR, the film is a "subversive" take on the superhero genre, with additional details being kept under wraps for the time being. Daniel Casey (Kin) wrote the script for The Heavy, which is gearing up to start production later this year with Avery calling the shots.
Bad Robot recruited Avery for Overlord after the filmmaker made waves in 2015 on his feature debut Son of a Gun. The crime drama/thriller stars Ewan McGregor as a notorious criminal and mentor to a younger lawbreaker played by Brenton Thwaites. Should Avery continue his climb up the ladder with Overlord, then The Heavy could be a much more anticipated and buzzed about project by the time that it hits the scene (possibly within the next 1-2 years).
As enjoyable as mainstream Marvel and DC superhero movies can be, some of the most creative and innovative work in the genre is being done on original fare similar to The Heavy. Low budget films like Chronicle and Sleight have put fresh spins on the concept of super-powered people in years past. By comparison, upcoming filmmaker-driven efforts such as M. Night Shyamalan's Glass and Rick Famuyiwa's Past Midnight (starring Keanu Reeves) aim to further mix things up by incorporating different genre elements into the (superhero) mix. The Heavy is another developing film that may find an unusual angle to take on the idea of superheroes, by the sound of it.
... Even if it does turn out to be another Cloverfield movie in disguise.
We will bring you more details on The Heavy as they become available.
- Overlord (2018) release date: Nov 09, 2018