Atomic Eden Director Nico Sentner Interview

Hello Nico, thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions. First of all I want to say that I thoroughly enjoyed Nazi Doomsday Device ‘Atomic Eden’. Could you start by telling me how you come up with the idea for Nazi Doomsday Device?

I´m very happy to hear that you thoroughly enjoyed the film. I created the story based on certain events, which inspired me for the project: We were location scouting for another film, a post-apocalyptic action-film (a project which never happened) and while scouting, we found that really awesome place here in East Germany. It was half a deserted town, which looked very much like Chernobyl. And while visiting this place lots of ideas hit me. This was the birth of the story behind “ATOMIC EDEN” (UK release title: “NAZI DOOMSDAY DEVICE”). It was this really creepy but great place which gave me so many space and ideas to shoot a movie. That I started writing a short story called “Atomic Eden”. But this was just like 25% of the cake. I had the pleasure of being involved as a producer in a WWII documentary called “PROJECT NATTER”. This documentary was about the first manned rocket plane in history developed by German Scientists as a secret weapon, a so called “Wunderwaffe” during World War II. While being in the UK to meet with potential distribution partners for this doc, I´ve heard this rumor about a Nazi Doomsday Device. The Brits actually do believe that there was such a thing. It´s almost like an Urban legend in the UK. So that was a another quarter to the cake. I had the honor of executive producing Mike Möeller’s “ARENA OF THE STREET FIGHTER”, a 100% pure martial arts flick, which worked as an exhibition film for the outstanding talent of German Martial Arts Sensation Mike Möller. The film worked well for us in international sales but a few territories refused to take the title because of the lack of Story and the lack of Star value. So I thought, I have to put Mike in an international action-film next to some names and icons of the Genre (If I can get those icons attached) combined with a good story, which I already had written. This was the third quarter to the cake. And the last part was falling into place, when Fred showed interest in my short story “ATOMIC EDEN”. I was already friends with Fred for a few years by that time but I never really had a project which could suits him. However “ATOMIC EDEN” made the difference. He was highly interested in the story and he agreed to play the role of “Stoker – the Leader”, if I could get the funding together. And also, Fred wanted to help me and support me doing my first feature film as a director. With Fred and Mike already attached, I presented the project to a financing source at the Cannes Film Market and what should I say, the guy behind the financing source liked the idea, the cast and the whole package. This started the financing process for the the film. The same year, only 3 month later, I was standing on set of “ATOMIC EDEN” shooting my first film as a director.

You managed to get Fred Williamson back in a lead role!! He is such a cool dude and Stoker is such an awesome character, can we expect further adventures of the character?

I would love to do a prequel and sequel to ATOMIC EDEN. I have already written the screenplays.
There are even 3 stories for Character spin-offs already there. But the film has to reach a certain level of success first before those ideas have a chance to get green light. And as long as Fred Williamson is still around, he will always be Stoker in a potential prequel and sequel. Also, I wanted to mention, that working with Fred gave me the opportunity to learn from his 50+ years of experience in the industry. Fred sells a clear image in the roles he plays and the character of Stoker was designed for Fred to do exactly this thing!

It had an Assault on Precinct 13 Vibe, was that an influence or coincidence?

Clearly an influence. John Carpenter’s ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 is one of the main reasons why I wanted to become a
filmmaker. ATOMIC EDEN is my homage to Carpenter´s work, same as ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 was Carpenter´s homage
to Howard Hawks RIO BRAVO. I acknowledge this debt to Carpenter’s work by naming the character I played John Zimmerman. Zimmerman is German for Carpenter! And as coincidence, Carpenter was forced by the distributor to change his title from “THE ANDERSON ALAMO” to “ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13”, and I was forced by the UK Distributor to change the title from “Atomic EDEN” to “NAZI DOOMSDAY DEVICE” for its UK release, so the title will meet the taste of the British audience.

Also on the cast you had the talented Mike Möeller, who also done the fight choreography, that guy is amazing!! Were his fight scenes originally that badass in the script or did he put his own spin on it?

Its a mixture. I had a clear vision of what I wanted to do with the fight scenes. So I explained that vision and my ideas for each scene to Mike and he shot pre-visuals for each fight scene and he added even more to it, as I was asking for in the first place. Mike is an outstanding talent in Martial Arts and Fight Choreography his experience and skills brought
my vision to life. And on top of that he also added his personal touch, his unique style and some awesome ideas to the fight scenes, which makes them as great as they are now.

Aswell as directing and writing you also co-starred as The Sniper, was it a challenge directing and also filming a part?

Directing and acting in the same project is always a challenge. I was pretty much aware of this, so therefore my character is more like an extended cameo. Lots of great filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino, M. Night Shyamalan or Jon Favreau doing the exact same thing. I would never direct a movie and play a bigger character at the same time. I truly believe if you are doing both that this is often the kiss of death for an independent project. Due to the fact that my character was
just an extended cameo, I could focus more on my work behind the camera.

More recently you produced The Hitman Agency which starred Don ‘The Dragon’ Wilson, he would fit snuggly into the franchise along with Stoker, right?

Oh absolutely. As mentioned early, I have already written a prequel and a sequel. I already created a character for Don within the ATOMIC EDEN Universe. If I ever have a chance to do the prequel or the sequel and expand this Franchise, I will offer Don “The Dragon” Wilson a role called Sergei – The Russian. As a matter of fact, this character is even mentioned in the current film twice. Once when the mercenaries ask Stoker – The Leader (Fred Williamson), how he found Komorrov, he replied: “My friend Sergei pumped into him in the Ukraine”. And the second time the character is mentioned by Nathan – Snake (Lorenzo Lamas) by the the end of the film: “So that´s why Sergei is off the map.”

*Spoiler Alert*

Lorenzo Lamas featured in a cameo at the end, is his character going to be fleshed out if a sequel is made?

The answer is yes. I would love to bring him back for the prequel and sequel as well! Working with Lorenzo was such an honor and pleasure. And I really enjoyed working with him. Lorenzo impressed all of us massively with his performance in the film. He would be a great villain to battle Fred Williamson in a possible sequel! Hopefully the current film will perform well, so I may have a chance to get another installment for this potential franchise greenlighted.

Thank you so much for answering all my questions and I hope to see a sequel or another movie of yours in the future!!

You are welcome. It was my pleasure talking with you about the film. Fingers crossed for another installment of the ATOMIC EDEN Franchise.

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