J.J. Abrams is getting into the superhero game. The director of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the upcoming Star Wars 9 has made plenty of time to produce projects in between making mega-budget franchise blockbusters and he's just lined up a new, intriguing venture. Abrams will produce a superhero thriller called The Heavy, which will be directed by Julius Avery, who recently helmed Overlord for Abrams' Bad Robot company.

The news comes not long after the first footage from Overlord was screened at CinemaCon in Las Vegas last week. The footage wowed those in attendance, giving Bad Robot and Paramount Pictures tremendous confidence in the project, which is described as a WWII zombie thriller. It's also provided Bad Robot and J.J. Abrams with some confidence in director Julius Avery, who is now in talks to direct The Heavy, which Paramount will also be partnering with Bad Robot for. Even though he isn't directing, this would be Abrams making his mark on the superhero genre, which could be pretty interesting.

The Heavy was written by Daniel Casey and plot details are currently being kept under wraps. What we do know is that the project is being described as a subversive take on the superhero genre. Beyond that, it's quite mysterious. However, that's not at all unusual for a Bad Robot production, or anything J.J. Abrams is involved in really. Up until CinemaCon, it was highly suspected that Overlord was going to be the next Cloverfield movie, but Abrams personally debunked that. However, he did confirm that a proper Cloverfield 4 is being worked on.

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As for Julius Avery, he impressed many with his feature Son of a Gun, which starred both Ewan McGregor and Brenton Thwaites. That movie led him to meet with Bad Robot and J.J. Abrams, ultimately landing the gig directing Overlord. While no footage has been released publically, the reactions and descriptions from CinemaCon have generated a good deal of buzz. It's smart for Abrams and Bad Robot to lock Avery down now. If Overlord is the movie it sounds like it could be, it very much sounds like the kind of thing that could make him in-demand for other high-profile projects. Superheroes are about as big as it comes right now, but we can guess this will be far from your average caped crimefighter situation.

Paramount and Bad Robot are said to be eager to get the project going. If they can lock down Julius Avery and get all of the other pieces in place, they want cameras rolling on The Heavy before the end of the year. Overlord is set for release on October 26. That will give Avery enough time to get everything squared away with that movie before moving into production on this mystery superhero project. Despite the lack of details, the idea of J.J. Abrams producing a superhero movie with a promising up-and-coming director is intriguing. This news comes to us courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott