Overlord producer J.J. Abrams breaks down the WWII horror-thriller's intense opening sequence in our exclusive behind the scenes clip. Long thought to be the fourth Cloverfield movie, Abrams and Bad Robot's Overlord made its way through production under a veil of secrecy in 2017. That didn't change much in the months leading up to its release, despite Abrams' revelation that Overlord wasn't part of the Cloverfield franchise. Still, as the film's marketing picked up, it quickly became clear: Overlord is a bonkers movie on its own, even without a connection to the weird world of Cloverfield.
Directed by Julius Avery (Son of a Gun) and written by Billy Ray (The Hunger Games) and Mark L. Smith (The Revenant), Overlord follows a group of U.S. paratroopers on a top-secret mission to destroy a German radio tower, on the eve of D-Day. The film starts out as a relatively grounded WWII adventure, as told from the perspective of Private First Class Ed Boyce (Jovan Adepo) and his fellow soldiers. Overlord even opens with a sequence that's reminiscent of a WWII drama like Saving Private Ryan, in the way it makes viewers feel like they, too, are right in the line of fire with the movie's heroes.
Related: The Best Horror Movies of 2018
Likewise, part of Overlord's opening was shot in a single take to fully immerse audiences, as Abrams notes in our exclusive behind the scenes clip from the movie's upcoming home release. For more on that, you should check out the video in the space below.
The clip breaks down a key moment from the beginning of Overlord, as Ed's plane is shot down and he tries to escape the flaming wreckage amidst all the gunfire and chaos. As Abrams points out in the video, this scene is important in ways that may not be obvious at first. It not only helps to endear audiences to the film's protagonist, but also serves as a tone-setter for Avery's direction on the movie. Indeed, Overlord was widely celebrated by critics for the way it captures the real-world horror and intensity of war with moments like this. The film never fully strays away from the hellish nature of warfare either, even after its narrative takes a turn for the fantastical and introduces Nazi zombies into the equation.
While the movie unfortunately bombed at the box office, Overlord was well-received by critics and is already on its way to becoming a cult classic among cinephiles. Those who missed the film in theaters will have a chance to see what all the fuss is about when Overlord hits home video and digital, starting this week. In certain formats, the movie will include special features (like the clip above) that dive deeper into its portrayal of the horrors of war, both real and imaginary.
Overlord becomes available on Digital starting Tuesday, February 5. It will be released on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray two weeks after that on February 19.