Zack Snyder dominated the spring movie season with the HBO Max release of his “Justice League” director’s cut, and he looks to do the same with the summer movie season thanks to “Army of the Dead.” The filmmaker’s Netflix debut brings him back to the zombie genre 17 years after “Dawn of the Dead” served as his studio breakthrough. Netflix has a lot riding on “Army of the Dead,” and the film is just the beginning of a larger franchise that is set to include both an anime series and a prequel movie.
Led by Dave Bautista (no stranger to franchise filmmaking thanks to his role as Drax the Destroyer in the Marvel Cinematic Universe), “Army of the Dead” follows a group of mercenaries who plot a heist on a Las Vegas casino during a zombie outbreak. The supporting cast includes Theo Rossi, Tig Notaro, Garret Dillahunt, Raúl Castillo, Omari Hardwick, Hiroyuki Sanada, Matthias Schweighöfer, Ella Purnell, and Ana de la Reguera.
The franchise-launching design of “Army of the Dead” will keep Netflix and Snyder working together for the foreseeable future. Snyder has called Warner Bros. his home for the last 15 years, and “Army of the Dead” was originally planned for the studio but sat in development hell. Snyder said Warner Bros. was not interested in spending the budget required to pull off “Army of the Dead,” so that’s when he shopped the idea around and Netflix got involved. Is this the start of another decades-long studio partnership for Snyder? The answer surely has lots to do with how “Army of the Dead” fares this summer.
“We had an amazing experience with [Netflix],” Snyder said earlier this year. “I’m trying to write them another movie, and I have two animated series I’m doing with them, and I also have a German-language prequel to ‘Army’ that we did. So, we’re really like trying to stay on that franchise, the ‘Army’ franchise.”
“I’m just having a great time shooting these movies right now. So, I don’t know,” the director continued when asked if he’ll return to DC Comics movies. “Warner Bros. hasn’t really expressed any interest in making more movies with me, and that’s 100% fine. I understand.”
“Army of the Dead” will begin streaming May 21 on Netflix. Ahead of the streaming launch, the film will debut in select theaters May 14. Watch the official trailer for the zombie tentpole in the video below.