The J.J. Abrams-produced World War II supernatural thriller Overlord announces its full cast, as it promises to continue the producer's genre work that includes rebooting the Star Trek franchise in 2009, continuing the Star Wars saga in 2015, creating a legion of obsessives with Lost , and launching the Cloverfield universe. At the start of this year, Abrams declared a desire to move away from reboots and sequels, and this mysterious original project seems to fit that bill perfectly.
Prep on Overlord has been moving along steadily, with Son of a Gun filmmaker Julius Avery on board as director, along with the expected rumours that it may or may not end up being part of the Cloverfield shared universe. The first wave of casting news confirmed the involvement of the lead actors Wyatt Russell and Jovan Adepo. However, the total cast list has just been revealed in an announcement from Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot today.
Joining Russell and Adepo, the film will also star a wealth of well-known character actors, including Jacob Anderson (Game of Thrones), Dominic Applewhite (The King’s Speech), Pilou Asbæk (Game of Thrones), Iain de Caestecker (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), John Magaro (The Big Short), Mathilde Ollivier (The Misfortunes of Francois Jane), and Bokeem Woodbine (Fargo).
The film has been veiled with the usual shroud of secrecy that is synonymous with Abrams productions, but was rumoured to contain a supernatural threat of some kind, entwined with the wartime setting. As it stands at the moment, the synopsis reads as:
"On the eve of D-Day, a group of American paratroopers are dropped behind enemy lines to carry out a mission crucial to the invasion’s success. But as they approach their target, they begin to realize there is more going on in this Nazi-occupied village than a simple military operation."
Shooting is also expected to commence in the UK throughout May, although an intended release date has not yet been revealed. The film itself is being produced by Abrams and Lindsey Weber, and the story was written by Billy Ray (Captain Phillips) and Mark L. Smith (The Revenant).
Given the cloud of mystery, more details will probably not be forthcoming for the foreseeable future. But given Abram's desire to do more original work, along with the highly intriguing synopsis itself, it seems unlikely that there will be any links with the Cloverfield film universe. But given everybody that's now involved in front of and behind the camera, this remains an enticing project that we'll certainly keep a close eye on as production commences. Expect to hear much more about Overlord as soon as we get additional news.