One of the biggest focal points of criticism for Zack Snyder’s movies is that they prioritize spectacle over story. So when word got out that he would be making his return to the zombie genre with Netflix’s Army of the Dead, some fans thought it would be just another mindless action film without a heart. Regardless, Snyder promises that this won’t be the case. While discussing the movie with Entertainment Weekly, he explained his plans to subvert audience expectations with Army of the Dead.
“It is a full-blown, balls-to-the-wall zombie heist movie, so it’s genre-on-genre in a great way,” said Snyder. “So you expect pure zombie mayhem, and you get that, 100 percent. But also you get these really amazing characters on a fantastic journey. It’s going to surprise people that there’s a lot of warmth and real emotion with these great characters.”
Snyder also offered up some new plot details for the film, which he began developing shortly after his Dawn of the Dead remake hit theaters in 2004. Typically, the average zombie movie depicts an outbreak that takes over the whole country or even the entire world. But it sounds like Army of the Dead’s zombie apocalypse is confined exclusively to Las Vegas. After a virus is unleashed from Nevada’s Area 51, the U.S. government responds by building a wall around the city, containing it therein. This makes the mountains of cash stored inside Vegas’ many casinos ripe for the taking. Of course, anyone attempting such a feat will have to navigate through hordes of the infected.
RELATED: The Prequel To Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead Has Wrapped Filming
This is how the film starts, with Dave Bautista’s Scott Ward leading a band of thieves into the city’s borders. Over the last few years, Bautista has been fairly open about his desire to pursue more character-driven movies, which is exactly why he turned down Army of the Dead when Snyder first offered him the part. However, he changed his mind after learning more about the film’s story.
“I said I wasn’t interested,” said Bautista. “I had this chip on my shoulder and was looking for juicy [dramatic roles]. Then I read the script and it was a lot deeper and had more layers than I thought. And also, to be quite frank, I wanted to work with Zack.”
Snyder’s plans for the Army of the Dead universe stretch beyond just one movie. He’s currently developing a four-hour animated prequel series, which takes a “deep dive” into the zombie plague’s origins. A live-action prequel film also recently wrapped production.
Netflix still hasn’t announced a release date for Army of the Dead. You can check out new images from the film at the link above, then share your thoughts in the comment section!
Recommended Reading: The Living Dead by George A. Romero and Daniel Kraus