More than a decade after he remade George A. Romero’s “Dawn of the Dead” in 2004, Zack Snyder is finally unleashing the highly anticipated “Army of the Dead”. After languishing in development hell after it was announced in 2007, “Army of the Dead” has found a new home on Netflix, which is releasing the movie in select theaters in the US and premiering it globally on the streaming platform on May 21. Fans can also participate in an interactive global livestream event on May 14 on the Netflix YouTube channel to unlock the first 15 minutes of “Army of the Dead”.
“I came up with the story right after ‘Dawn’, to be honest. And then, we kinda kicked it around,” Snyder said during Netflix’s Asia Pacific virtual press conference.
Zack Snyder and the zombie tiger
Unfortunately, despite several talks over the years, the project still couldn’t get made at Warner Bros.
“I was talking with these guys here at Netflix, and I just mentioned it as a thing that I — an idea I had. And they were like, ‘That sounds amazing,'” Snyder said.
The moderator of the press conference, Nikko Ramos, quipped that this backstory probably shows why he shouldn’t be a studio executive.
“‘Cause if you just walked in and said, ‘I’m Zack Snyder, Vegas, zombies, and there’s a zombie tiger,’ I’d be like, ‘Here’s a billion. Go do it. Yeah. Whatever you want. Sounds good to me,” Ramos said.
“Maybe you should be a studio executive in that case,” Snyder deadpanned.
If you’ve seen the “Army of the Dead” trailer, then you definitely know which zombie tiger they’re talking about.
Stunning visuals, larger-than-life characters
Say what you will about Zack Snyder, but you can’t deny that he’s really a fan of cinema and a master of cinematography.
And I say this as someone who’s been critical of his DC Extended Universe work, but still enjoyed the stunning visuals and larger-than-life characters in the Snyder Cut.
You just have to accept Snyder’s strengths and weaknesses. Which is why you have to be excited imagining the kind of crazy scenes he’s dreamed up for “Army of the Dead”. I mean, come on, it’s Las Vegas and zombies!
“I think Zeus is pretty scary. And also Athena — I mean, that’s the actress’s name, Athena, who plays the queen. And Spider who plays the general, you know, the one who’s with the zombie queen when they come out, those guys are stunt people I’ve worked with for years,” Snyder said.
Zack loves Dave
The star of this zombie heist action thriller is Dave Bautista, better known to pro wrestling fans as the six-time world champion of World Wrestling Entertainment, Batista, and to Marvel Cinematic Universe fans as Drax the Destroyer. Snyder said that he is a big fan of Bautista.
“I love Dave. Dave and I had been talking for years about trying to make movies together. And I asked him about this,” Snyder said.
“He wasn’t sure. ‘Cause he’s like, ‘Yeah, I don’t really want to do another action thing.’ I go, ‘Read the script.’ And after he read it, he called me and goes, like, ‘I didn’t realize that it was like this — that I had this huge emotional like, journey to go through.’ And I said, ‘Yes.'”
Snyder said Bautista plays a broken character who really wants to reconnect with his daughter, who is also part of this group of mercenaries he’s assembled to pull off this heist in a Las Vegas casino in the middle of a zombie outbreak. He praised the amazing performance of Bautista — in fact, of the whole cast.
Fans should also watch out for Easter eggs in “Army of the Dead” — including a cameo by Snyder. He also gave clues. One, he’s not in zombie makeup. And, two, “it’s in a mirror” — which he pointed out is not really much of a clue, since the movie is literally filled with mirrors.
“If you’re super observant. It’s a very tricky moment. But I’m in there.”