Before Zack Snyder gained global recognition for movies such as ‘300’ and ‘Watchmen’, as well as his role in the DC Extended Universe with ‘Man of Steel’ and ‘Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice’, he had made his directorial debut with ‘Dawn of the Dead’, a zombie film which has become a cult film among movie buffs. It has been reported that Snyder has been working on a sequel on the movie as well, slated to release next year, but news has recently come out that Netflix is already pushing for more content related to the movie, apparently setting up a prequel movie as well as an anime series based on it.
‘Army of the Dead’, the sequel coming out next year, is already backed by Netflix, with the plot revolving around a heist on casino games for real money in Las Vegas, which is rudely interrupted by a zombie outbreak. It features Dave Bautista and Ella Purnell alongside an ensemble cast with the likes of Ana de la Reguera, Garret Dillahunt, Raul Castillo, Omari Hardwick, Hiryoucki Sanada, Tig Notaro and Matthias Schweighofer. The latest news from Netflix is that ‘Army of the Dead’ will have a prequel as well, directed by Schweighofer, who was the lead in Snyder’s ‘Dawn of the Dead’ back in 2004. The prequel will follow the story of Schweighofer’s character Ludwig Deiter. Shay Hatten, who is one of the writers for ‘Army of the Dead’, will also pen the script for this prequel, as well as for the anime series. The anime series is tentatively titled ‘Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas’, and will follow Bautista’s character. Snyder is set to direct two episodes of the series as well, which will have Jay Olivia as the showrunner.
These decisions show just how committed Netflix is to creating an ‘Army of the Dead’ universe, and reflects their growing trust in Snyder as well as the storylines and themes of this particular movie and project. The likes of Schweighofer have also commented saying that it shows how big a franchise this could potentially become. At the same time, while fans will be waiting for this flick to come out next year, along with the prequel and anime series to come, 2021 will have an even bigger release for Zack Snyder fans.
Snyder had to step away from filming ‘Justice League’ a few years ago due to a family tragedy, which led to Joss Whedon, who is best known for directing the first two ‘Avengers’ movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, to step in. The subsequent version of ‘Justice League’ which was released in theatres was met with near-universal disapproval by fans, and it did not perform well at the box office either. Soon after, there had been rumours of a ‘Snyder Cut’ of the movie existing, with many changes having been made by Whedon to Snyder’s original vision for the movie. Snyder himself helped stoke these rumours by mentioning various details which did not make it to the theatrical cut, and this fuelled fan demands for the ‘Snyder Cut’ to be released. Finally, Warner Bros Studios, which is behind the DC Extended Universe, announced that the #SnyderCut of the Justice League movie will be released on the HBOMax streaming service, also dropping a trailer recently which has only served to increase expectations, with many scenes and images showing up which are radically different from the theatrical cut. With this and the upcoming ‘Army of the Dead’ movie as well, 2021 promises to be a very exciting year for Zack Snyder himself, as well as the army of his fans.