There was a time when actors would get slapped on with blood and dirt, and missing teeth, and trotted out to play zombies. Nowadays, most zombie movies, from World War Z to I Am Legend, make use of CGI to give a more supernatural look to the iconic movie monsters. Filmmaker Zack Snyder is gearing up for a spiritual sequel to his 2004 movie Dawn of the Dead with the upcoming zombie-heist movie Army of the Dead. In an interview with TheFilmJunkee, Snyder revealed how his new movie will go back to practical horror effects.
"90% of our zombies are completely practical. The zombie war, the action sequences and the fighting, my longtime collaborator Damon Caro and I worked hard to create some insane zombie mayhem. The thing about the movie that I think will be really exciting for people is the tone. That kind of tone where the movie has fun but doesn't make fun. I really wanted to make a no holds barred, zombie genre insanity."
Fans have already gotten a glimpse of what Snyder's idea of no-holds-barred zombie action looks like. The director's Dawn of the Dead remake did away with the slow-moving zombies of yesteryear, who could be easily evaded by walking briskly and replaced them with fast, predatory zombies that could be on a victim faster than they react.
Army of the Dead is described as a heist movie, where a group of mercenaries plan to loot a casino in the middle of a zombie outbreak. The premise is ripe for a breakneck action thriller. Actor Garrett Dillahunt, who is a part of the film, had previously teased how Army of the Dead will reinvent the zombie movie genre.
"It's real different. I'm excited to see it too. To have different ideas about zombies, which is refreshing, I think, in a lot of ways. And I know I have to keep this so vague. I'm sorry. I didn't know one of the things coming out now. Sometime next year. But they strayed away from a lot of normal zombie canon, that for some reason, everyone adheres to. And you're like, "Maybe they don't have to be that way. What if they were this way? Oh, that's a nice wrinkle." Zombies are scary. I'll tell you that. Zombies are really fast and scary."
Netflix, which is producing the movie, is already betting big on Snyder's upcoming zombie flick. A prequel movie and an anime series based on Army of the Dead have already been greenlit by the streaming giant. It looks like Snyder has found himself at the head of another massive franchise just as he prepares to exit the DECU with the upcoming Zack Snyder's Justice League.
Based on a story by Zack Snyder and a screenplay from Joby Harold, Army of the Dead features Dave Bautista, Garret Dillahunt, Ella Purnell, Omari Hardwick, Raul Castillo, Tig Notaro, Theo Rossi, and Ana de la Reguera. The film does not yet have a release date.