Zack Snyder, who finally got to release his full 4-hour Justice League film last March, returns to the zombie genre with his new Netflix film, Army of the Dead.
It was back in 2004 when the director made his first zombie film– the acclaimed remake of George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead. This time around, Snyder deconstructs the zombie genre by adding elements from the heist genre. That’s right, it’s Ocean’s 11 meets the zombie apocalypse in Army of the Dead!
The film is set in a world where a zombie outbreak left Las Vegas in ruins and walled off from the rest of the world. Former zombie war hero Scott Ward (Dave Bautista) is approached by a casino boss to offer him a job he can’t refuse: he and his crew must retrieve $200 million from a vault underneath a Las Vegas casino before the government nukes the whole city.
Snyder’s deconstruction of the genre
Through the years, the zombie genre has been explored in many ways through film, TV, and other forms of media. Still, in 2021 director Snyder is able to offer us something new with this new horror-heist mashup. But the director isn’t stopping anytime soon, because he is also producing the animated prequel, Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas, and a German spin-off film titled Army of Thieves.
“We have the German spin-off that Matthias Schweighöfer directed, it’s done [filming]. It tells the safe cracker’s backstory,” said Snyder in a recent roundtable interview with the Philippine press. He is referring to Ludwig Dieter, a member of Scott’s crew who is obsessed with safes and vaults.
“It’s like a romantic comedy in the same way that our movie mashes up the zombie genre and the heist genre. This is romantic comedy and heist. It’s another sort of deconstruction of genre,” Snyder explained.
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Since we were on the subject of genre mashups, we took the opportunity to ask: will Snyder be down for a zombie superhero film? The director, looking amused by the question, says “Sure!”
“Zombie Batman is great,” the director declared. “I’ve seen it. It’s in canon. You don’t have to look very far, you can find a really good Zombie Batman [and a] really good Zombie Superman. That would be fun, that really would be.”
Batman and Superman as zombies
There have been two events when the two biggest superheroes of the DC Universe were turned into reanimated corpses. One was during the Blackest Night event, where the Lord of the Unliving Nekron turned deceased beings into Black Lantern Corps– corpses that were revived for the purpose of eliminating all life. The other time was during the DCeased event in 2019, when humans and superheroes alike were infected by a cybernetic disease linked to the Anti-Life Equation.
In both events, Superman and Batman became part of the living dead.
But could such a film from Snyder really happen? While it is a fun idea to throw around, it seems unlikely to happen, at least for now. After all, Warner Bros. has expressed its intent to move forward with its own plans for the upcoming DC films and shows.
“I appreciate that they love Zack’s work and we are very thankful for his many contributions to DC,” WarnerMedia Studios CEO Ann Sarnoff told Variety last March. “We’re just so happy that he could bring his cut of the Justice League to life because that wasn’t in the plan until about a year ago. With that comes the completion of his trilogy. We’re very happy we’ve done this, but we’re very excited about the plans we have for all the multi-dimensional DC characters that are being developed right now.”
Army of the Dead’s super-zombies
Superheroes aside, Snyder’s new zombie universe is something his fans could really look forward to!
Sure, they may not be from Krypton or Gotham, but Army of the Dead’s horde of the undead isn’t your typical horde either. The film’s Alpha Zombies are smarter, faster, and more organized. Just the trailer alone already gives us a glimpse of zombies that can dodge Dave Bautista’s consecutive knife attacks and a zombie king that can throw a full-grown man across the room with just one arm swing!
So if you’re down for an action-packed zombie heist movie, be sure to catch Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead when it starts streaming on Netflix this May 21, 2021! For more information, visit the film’s official Netflix page.
Army of the Dead is directed by Zack Snyder, who also served as director of photography, with a screenplay by Snyder, Shay Hatten, and Joby Harold from a story by Snyder. It stars Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell, Ana de la Reguera, Omari Hardwick, Tig Notaro, Raúl Castillo, Samantha Win, Garret Dillahunt, Nora Arnezeder, Theo Rossi, Matthias Schweighöfer, and Hiroyuki Sanada.
Photo used for homestream image courtesy of Netflix.