Desperate to defeat their allied enemies, Germany relies on their Navy and U-Boats on a mission to attack the United States in the final days of World War II. They call in Captain Hans Kessler (Dolph Lundgren) to lead the mission, who faces off against Commander Race Ingram (Frank Grillo) and Captain Samuel L Gravely Jr. (Hiram A. Murray).
Also in the cast of Operation Seawolf are Andrew Stecker, Apostolos Gliarmis, Luke Steinborn, Aaron Courteau, Edgar Damatian, Bates Wilder, Cody Fleury, and more. It’s written and directed by Steven Luke and available in theaters and on Demand as of October 7, 2022, before its later release on digital on October 25.
“I’m excited most for the audience to take away an understanding of the commonality of the human mindset, of what it takes for a person in their position, leading to make decisions in battle, and the commonality from both sides, whether villain or hero, what it takes to issue orders or make decisions,” commented Murray.
Operation Seawolf is a Character Driven Story
“It’s a very character-driven piece,” commented Luke. “Obviously, with a WWII movie, you have to have your action and explosions, but it’s really about the men on both sides, the decisions that they’re making in order to complete their missions and hopefully get to come home, and I’m excited for the audience to see that and go on these characters’ journeys.”
In developing these characters, Luke welcomed feedback from his cast, commenting that Lundgren helped with developing Captain Hans Kessler.
“Dolph Lundgren, who plays the lead of Hans Kessler, the captain of the German submarine… I got the idea and sent the story over, and he thought it was fantastic, and he really wanted to dive into this character and help develop who Kessler is. Right off the bat, we had a human story that we wanted to tell,” said Luke.
This intent to tell a human story is prevalent in Murray’s role as Captain Samuel L Gravely Jr. as well, being that the character was a real person, with the addition of Murray’s background as a Captain in the Marine Corps.
“My character, which is a real guy, was the very first African American Naval Officer, and also the first African American Admiral. The ship that we filmed on, he actually commanded. I, myself, being a captain in the Marine Corps, taking on this role was one of the highest honors of my career, because this is like my forefather. If it wasn’t for him, there would be no me. This guy came and paved the way for African Americans to be officers in the military,” said Murray.
Historical Accuracy of Operation Seawolf
Being a history major from school, Luke made a conscious effort to make Operational Seawolf as historically accurate as he could, which elevated Murray’s sense of pride and will to do things right.
“Getting all of the details right, to the story, the costumes, the shooting, the ships… being able to recreate that environment was super important. I always try to instill in everyone that if we’re paying attention to the historical details, then our audiences will reward us. It will keep them in the story, they will feel emerged into what we’re trying to create,” said Luke.
“Audiences, they’re going to look and be like, ‘Wait a minute, an all African American ship?’ but that was true during that time period,” added Murray, then explaining how that, as well as his life experience as a Captain in the Marine Corps, influenced his performance. “It’s a sense of pride, and you want to do it right because you’re representing your veteran community. You’re representing the African American community. You’re portraying a real person, you’re representing his legacy and his family. So, those things you always have in the back of your mind, with every scene, with how you speak and keep your command and presence. Those things are always in the back of your mind, and you always want to do them justice.”
Also in Operation Seawolf is Murray’s son Seth. “That’s one of my proudest moments in my career,” said Murray, “and one of the happiest things that I’ll always remember in this film, that I got to share it with my kid.”
Operation Seawolf comes to us from Shout! Studios.