We haven’t heard much from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Watchmen, and 300 director Zack Snyder since he had to depart as the director of Justice League in May of 2017.
Now Snyder is back with a new project, a zombie heist horror-thriller titled Army of the Dead, which is set up at Netflix. Snyder says it’s the first time he has free rein to do whatever he wants with a movie, and describes the project as “something fun and epic and crazy and bonkers in the best possible way.”
So what exactly is a zombie heist movie? The story is set in Las Vegas, where a spreading zombie virus has caused an area of the city to be quarantined off. It follows an opportunistic (or perhaps stupid) gentleman, who assembles a team of mercenaries to head into the deadly quarantine zone in hopes of pulling off the greatest heist of all time.
This is not the first time Snyder has directed a zombie flick. Back in 2004, he made his feature directorial debut with the remake of George A. Romero’s 1978 classic Dawn of the Dead, which was for Universal Pictures.
But since that debut, every movie that Snyder has directed has been distributed by Warner Brothers. In fact Army of the Dead was originally set up at Warner Bros. in 2007, where it collected a few layers of dust until Netflix found out about it and was able to acquire it.
Where a studio like WB will usually be heavily involved in how a project takes shape, Netflix is known for letting filmmakers do their thing. It also helps that Netflix often doesn’t mind throwing significant amounts of coin into their projects. According to the report, the budget for Army of the Dead could be as high as $90 million. That’s $64 million more than Snyder had for Dawn of the Dead, and also more than he had for 300, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, and Sucker Punch.
Snyder says there are “no handcuffs on me at all with this one.” He talked about doing something original compared to something like the comic adaptations he often does:
“I love to honor canon and the works of art, but this is the opportunity to find a purely joyful way to express myself though a genre. It will be the most kick-ass, self-aware “” but not in a wink-to-the-camera way “” balls-to-the-wall zombie freakshow that anyone has ever seen. No one’s ever let me completely loose [like this].”
The director also talked about how Army of the Dead fired him up to get back behind the camera:
“I love big action, I love big sequences. My movie brain starts clicking around and I was like, “˜We need to be shooting this now!’ Constructing these sequences really fired me up.”
The movie is based on a story Snyder originally came up with and the screenplay was written by Joby Harold, who penned King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and the upcoming Flash/Flashpoint movie.
Snyder produces along with his wife Deborah Snyder and Wesley Coller through their production company The Stone Quarry, which was formerly called Cruel and Unusual Films.
No release window for Army of the Dead has been announced yet, but the plan is to begin filming this summer.