This Army of the Dead article contains spoilers.
The internet is destined to debate the artistic merits of Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead for years to come, but you’ll never be able to accuse the director of pulling any punches in his return to the zombie movie genre. By the time the credits roll on this two hour and 28 minute undead extravaganza, it’s clear Snyder’s left nothing on the cutting room floor, and even he’s confirmed there will be no need for a Justice League-sized director’s cut in the future. On display is his full artistic vision, down to the very last song chosen for the movie’s somber finale.
But that doesn’t mean Snyder’s new zombie universe is fully revealed in this first installment of what Netflix hopes will be an entire cinematic universe of gritty action flicks and series. In fact, the movie ends with a few unanswered questions that will likely be addressed in future sequels.
One “cliffhanger” in particular has left fans wondering whether a character died or somehow survived the helicopter crash at the end of the movie. We’re of course talking about Geeta (Huma Qureshi), who escapes Las Vegas in the chopper, along with Scott (Dave Bautista), Kate (Ella Purnell), and Peters (Tig Notaro), before the shockwave from a tactical nuke sends them crashing into the desert. The last time we see Geeta, she’s sitting next to Peters when Zeus jumps into the helicopter for one last bite. In the chaos that ensues above Las Vegas, Scott is bitten by Zeus, Peters is shot, and Zeus finally bites the dust. But we never really see what happens to Geeta.
When Kate regains consciousness a little while later and surveys the wreckage, the camera looks into the cockpit, confirming that Peters is dead, but we don’t see Geeta. But the sorrow on Kate’s face speaks a thousand words: the friend she risked her life to rescue from the alpha nest is dead, too. Kate has failed to reunite Geeta with her children.
But before we can see Geeta’s body, Kate hears her father groaning in pain somewhere in the background, and the camera quickly turns to a relieved Kate rushing to Scott, who we already know is mortally wounded. Kate’s headed for more tragedy. She’s forced to put her father down just as he begins turning into an alpha.
Interestingly enough, Scott acknowledges Geeta in his final words to Kate, giving her a wad of cash that should be enough to get Geeta’s kids out of the quarantine camp (which I guess wasn’t destroyed during the nuclear blast) for good. “You go and make it right,” Scott tells his daughter. The fact that Scott tasks Kate with freeing Geeta’s kids suggests that they both know Geeta can no longer do this herself. At least for this writer, it definitely sounds like Geeta’s story is over.
But an off-screen death wasn’t enough for some viewers who wondered if Scott and Kate’s final scene was somehow hiding a different fate for Kate’s friend. After all, if you don’t see the character die on screen, is the character truly dead? In this case, it really seems unlikely that Geeta survived that crash. (But didn’t Kate and Scott survive? Anyway…)
Screen Rant has a particularly interesting theory as to why Geeta is never seen again after she gets in the chopper, and it has to do with the original helicopter pilot played by Chris D’Elia being recast after the comedian was accused of sexual misconduct. Notaro replaced D’Elia after principal photography had already concluded, which means that she filmed her scenes in front of a green screen during reshoots and was added into the movie via CGI. In fact, the only actor who joined Notaro for these reshoots was Ana de la Reguera, who plays Maria, which makes sense since the two have to work together to refuel the helicopter on the casino’s roof. Meanwhile, Qureshi didn’t film any scenes with Notaro, which would explain why she’s not in the scene where Peters is shot or when Kate discovers the chopper pilot’s lifeless body.
Of course, Snyder is known for big last-minute twists. Is it possible Geeta was bitten by Zeus either during the chopper fight or before Kate rescued her? Might her new alpha powers have allowed her to survive the crash and go on the hunt for Kate in a sequel? You never know!
Army of the Dead is streaming on Netflix now.