There’s a lot of buzz surrounding the upcoming film from J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Studios, Overlord; though not part of the Cloverfield universe, as originally reported, it’s being described as a zombie horror movie that takes place during World War II. While it may sound like a prequel to the Dead Snow movies, Overlord actually has roots in reality.
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Operation Overlord was the code name used by the Allies for the Battle of Normandy, the bloody intrusion into Occupied Europe that turned the tides of war in our favor. The synopsis for Overlord, directed by Julius Avery, confirms the connection:
On the eve of D-Day, paratroopers drop behind enemy lines to carry out a crucial mission for the invasion. As they approach their target, they soon begin to realize there’s more going on in the Nazi-occupied village than a simple military operation.
While we wait for an official trailer for Overlord, slated to hit US Theaters on October 26th, check out the rare color footage of Operation Overlord below.
Official Synopsis: Operation Overlord was the code name for the Battle of Normandy, the Allied operation that launched the successful invasion of German-occupied western Europe during World War II. The operation commenced on 6 June 1944 with the Normandy landings (Operation Neptune, commonly known as D-Day). A 1,200-plane airborne assault preceded an amphibious assault involving more than 5,000 vessels. Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on 6 June, and more than three million allied troops were in France by the end of August.
The decision to undertake a cross-channel invasion in 1944 was taken at the Trident Conference in Washington in May 1943. General Dwight D. Eisenhower was appointed commander of Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF), and General Bernard Montgomery was named as commander of the 21st Army Group, which comprised all the land forces involved in the invasion. The Normandy coast was chosen as the site of the invasion, with the Americans assigned to land at Utah and Omaha Beaches, the British at Sword and Gold Beaches, and Canadians at Juno Beach. To meet the conditions expected on the Normandy beachhead, special technology was developed, including two artificial ports called Mulberry harbors and an array of specialized tanks nicknamed Hobart’s Funnies. In the months leading up to the invasion, the Allies conducted a substantial military deception, Operation Bodyguard, using both electronic and visual misinformation. This misled the Germans as to the date and location of the main Allied landings. Adolf Hitler placed German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in charge of developing fortifications all along the Atlantic Wall in anticipation of an invasion.
The Allies failed to reach their goals for the first day but gained a tenuous foothold that they gradually expanded as they captured the port at Cherbourg on 26 June and the city of Caen on 21 July. A failed counterattack by German forces on 8 August led to 50,000 soldiers of the German 7th Army being trapped in the Falaise pocket. The Allies launched an invasion of southern France (Operation Dragoon) on 15 August, and the Liberation of Paris followed on 25 August. German forces retreated across the Seine on 30 August 1944, marking the close of Operation Overlord.
Overlord has been Rated R for “strong bloody violence, disturbing images, language, and brief sexual content.” The film stars Wyatt Russell, Bokeem Woodbine, and Iain De Caestecker.
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