Zack Snyder, writer/director of Netflix’s zombie-heist film Army of the Dead, reveals some information about the origins of the alpha zombie, Zeus.
Zack Snyder, writer/director of Netflix’s zombie-heist spectacular Army of the Dead has gone on the record explaining the origins of the film’s primary zombie Zeus. No stranger to working on zombie films, Snyder first sunk his teeth into the genre with his 2004 remake of George A. Romero’s 1978 classic Dawn of the Dead. While working on the Dawn of the Dead remake, Snyder had also begun to develop his own idea for the Vegas-based zombie story and the project was eventually announced in 2007 with The Thing director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. attached. However, after languishing in development hell for years, Netflix finally acquired the rights in 2019 with Snyder set to assume directorial duties.
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The film’s story follows a group of mercenaries, led by Dave Bautista’s Scott Ward, as they enter the zombie-infested city of Las Vegas to recover $200 million from a casino vault before the government drops a nuclear weapon on the site. While the film’s opening sequence explains how the Las Vegas zombie outbreak resulted when the alpha zombie Zeus escaped from a military convoy travelling from Area 51, Zeus’ own origins are never explained. However, with a great deal of lore left to be explored in Snyder’s new zombie universe, it was announced in 2020 that a prequel film, Army of Thieves, and a prequel anime series, Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas, are both in the pipeline.
Snyder himself recently revealed a little of what audiences may come to expect from these upcoming prequels, as he divulged some key information about the zombie Zeus on a recent Livestream chat. Talking with The Film Junkee about the character’s origins, he explained, “Richards is his name. The soldier that is Zeus, but he had a name, he was a guy before.” As for how the soldier formerly known as Richards became the first zombie, the live stream hosts at The Film Junkee suggested he was a “reverse Captain America’d basically.” Snyder went to elaborate:
“Something happened to him… He did volunteer for something, but it wasn’t what he thought… He also went on a mission. It wasn’t just like, come to this facility and train. He went on a quest on his own and came back as this thing.”
With Netflix clearly interested in allowing Snyder to fully develop and further expand on his new fictional world, it is good news there’s more to learn about Zeus and how the zombie outbreak first originated. While Snyder’s work as a director on the DCEU is a matter of some contention, there is no doubt that he is a detail-orientated filmmaker who puts an enormous amount of effort into ensuring the mythology underlying his films is fully fleshed out. By providing him with the sort of creative freedom he never seemed to experience whilst working on the DC franchise, Netflix is providing Snyder with a unique opportunity to bring his visions to reality without restraint or interference.
Now that fans know that Zeus has a name and a complete back story planned out, it is only a matter of time before they get to experience it for themselves in the planned Army of the Dead prequels. While no exact release date has been announced for either Army of Thieves or Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas, filming has already wrapped on Army of Thieves and it is expected to hit screens sometime later this year. In the meantime, audiences can keep their fingers crossed it will not be much longer before they can enjoy a good deal more of Snyder’s crazy, undead antics.
Next: Army Of The Dead Ending, Final Scene & Franchise Future Explained
Source: The Film Junkee
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