Zack Snyder's Justice League is here and even though there have been rumors that HBO is all for trying their hands at the Snyderverse, there is no official announcement for the same. But no worries, the ace director is all set to create his own brand new franchise set within a zombie universe starting with the upcoming film, Army of The Dead. But that's not where his plans end as not only does he have two prequels planned for the film but is also introducing a storyline that has the potential of branching off into many more projects in the future. A treat indeed!
Army of the Dead
As you must already know, Zack Snyder's Army of The Dead is a daring heist film set in the midst of a raging zombie apocalypse. But compared to the zombie movies we are used to, courtesy of the series The Walking Dead and the legions of films like Snyder's Dawn of The Dead, Zombieland, Resident Evil, etc, the upcoming zombie heist action thriller is going to introduce a new concept of a post-apocalyptic world filled with zombies who are no longer brainless, slow, or easy to outrun- they are scaringly smart and far deadlier.
Army of the Dead is set sometime after a zombie outbreak that was contained within Nevada's infamous desert city, Las Vegas, by the government. Those who survived and managed to get out of the city have now started to move on with their lives, which includes Dave Bautista's Scott Ward now working in a diner. One day, Hiroyuki Sanada's Hunter Bly meets up with Ward and makes him a offer he can't resist- a big amount of money for securing the $50 million that is hidden in a casino in the zombie-infested Las Vegas before government nukes the city to contain the virus.
Overcome with greed, Ward agrees and brings together a team of his former associates and allies to reach the casino, which includes getting past the U.S. military guarding the heavily fortified boundary around Las Vegas and of course the hordes of zombies loose in the city. His estranged daughter, Kate (Ella Purcell) somehow tricks him into including her on his dangerous mission as well.
But when they reach Las Vegas, the team finds how they have grossly underestimated the zombies in the city. The army of the dead is not the shambling, human-eating dummies they were expecting- they are fast, semi-conscious, advanced, have enhanced reflexes, can anticipate attacks by the humans, and know how to organize as well as attack as a pack. What is more terrifying is the fact that they have leaders, denoted as Alphas. In fact, on their way to the vault containing the money, the team will be ambushed by a massive army of undead led by an Alpha, Zeus. He is terrifyingly intelligent and a well-trained combatant who actually is responsible for starting the outbreak in Area 51, the top secret government facility in Nevada. As he is an alpha, when Zeus bites someone, they become an Alpha zombie too. And as if that isn't scary enough, there are hordes of all kinds of formidable undead animals (the zombified tiger we saw in the trailer is not the only one) that the team will have to battle to survive.
But that soon becomes the last of their worries as the government pre-pones its date to nuke the city. So, now, they will have to navigate a city swarming with zombies and get outside before everything is destroyed, including them
What the film will not explore in depth is how the virus was created and spread in the first place. Is it the bi-product of a secret government experiment at Area 51 that got out of hand? Was Zeus a scientist attached to the project who accidentally or willingly spread the virus? Fortunately, the zombie universe Snyder is establishing with Army of the Dead will be explored in two prequel projects- a film titled Army of Thieves and an anime series, Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas.
Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas
As Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas is set to take place before Army of the Dead, during the early days of the zombie apocalypse, it is possible that the animated series will explore the origin of the virus. It is known that the series will see many characters from Army of the Dead reprise their roles, like Baustita's Ward, Purnell's Kate Ward, Omari Hardwick's Vanderohe, Tig Notaro as Marianne Peters, and Ana de la Reguera's Cruz. The story will depict what their life was like before and during the initial wave of the zombie outbreak and how they tried to save as many lives as possible.
It has been shared that the main protagonist of the series is going to be Joe Manganiello as Rose but we are not so hopeful about the character's future as he is not a part of Army of the Dead, which either means he will end up becoming a zombie or gets killed while helping others and the above mentioned group escape the hell Las Vegas turns into.
Army of Thieves
This will be another prequel to Army of the Dead and has been described as a "romantic comedy heist movie." It will be directed by Matthias Schweighöfer and follow the story of his character, Ludwig Dieter, from the upcoming Netflix movie and is once again set in the initial days of the zombie outbreak. While not much is known about the film, it is obvious that it will focus on Dieter's history, how he found himself in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, lost everything that he held dear, and how he came to know Scott Ward, because as per the announced cast list of Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas, he is not going to be with the group when they are striving to survive in Las Vegas.
The future of Zack Snyder's ambitious Army of the Dead zombie universe
While everything sounds really exciting on paper and the power of Snyder's widespread fanbase is already known, only time will tell whether there will be more installments exploring the different parts of Snyder's zombie universe because there is still much to tell. While it's obvious that certain members of the group will definitely make it out of Las Vegas, we don't know what will be the results of their actions. Will they inadvertently set loose the armies of zombies? Or maybe, somehow the government's plan to nuke the city will backfire and will only result in spreading the virus further? Maybe the team will end up joining hands with the zombies who are much more advanced than they are expected to be? Who knows!
We have Army of the Dead releasing on Netflix this May and Army of Thieves has already wrapped up filming, though an official release date is yet to be announced. It is the success of these projects that will decide whether more stories about this new era of zombies will be told or not. Being fans of Zack Snyder, we have our fingers crossed for the former!
Army of the Dead will be releasing on Netflix on May 21st, 2021.