J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot Are Making a World War II Zombie Movie

Nazi zombies in the film Dead Snow.
Nazi zombies in the film Dead Snow.

Bad Robot has just hired a director to film a movie called Overlord, which is about American soldiers fighting Nazi zombies in World War II.


Julius Avery, who made the Ewan McGregor movie Son of a Gun, is that director, according to Variety. The idea comes from the mind of J.J. Abrams, director of The Force Awakens, and Billy Ray, who adapted The Hunger Games. Ray is writing the script.

Overlord follows American paratroopers who land just outside Normandy on D-Day. Their job is to knock out German communications. Instead, they run into some Nazi experiments, mainly zombies and other supernatural beings.

The idea of Nazi zombies isn’t something new; they’ve appeared in B-movies, video games, and beyond—and will continue to, probably forever. What’s intriguing about Overlord is Abrams. His company doesn’t make many strictly straightforward movies. And the writer of Captain Phillips, Flight Plan and Shattered Glass doesn’t write a lot of down-the-middle horror action movies. It feels like there’s a twist here and maybe that twist is this is the 2018 Cloverfield movie.

There being some kind of Nazi link between a giant monster in New York, aliens in Louisiana, and something in space (the 2017 movie in the series is set in space) sounds plausible. So does the idea of a prequel being the fourth episode in a series of films. And even if there isn’t a link, this story is just weird enough for it to fit in with those other films, and that’s what Bad Robot is apparently going for with the “Cloverfield” brand.

Anyway, that’s just speculation. Even if there isn’t a twist, the idea of a studio-backed Nazi zombie movie certainly sounds awesome.



Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo. Formerly of Premiere, EW, Us Weekly, and Slashfilm. AP Award-Winning Film Critic and CCA member. Loves Star Wars, posters, Legos, and often all three at once.


Actually, Shock Waves is a surprisingly decent little el-cheapo horror flick from the 70's. Peter Cushing is good, and the idea is a different take on the subject. A genuine creepy.