Zack Snyder’s imminently-arriving “Snyder Cut” of 2017’s Justice League may be the dominant topic about the director, but his hiatus-breaking comeback with Netflix film Army of the Dead also draws near. Interestingly, while there’s still no release date for said film, it appears that its streaming giant platform is already planning to expand the zombie-battling franchise with a prequel movie and anime series. Yes, folks, an “ArmyoftheDeadverse” is nigh at Netflix.
Netflix has announced its expansion plans for, as the company puts it, a “Universe” of Snyder’s Army of the Dead, which, itself, is a sequel to his 2004 breakthrough, Dawn of the Dead. While Snyder—who directed and co-wrote the upcoming film—will certainly remain the creative fulcrum for the follow-up offerings, some interesting choices were made to handle the day-to-day duties. The prequel movie and anime series will be written by Shay Hatten, who co-wrote the Army of the Dead screenplay with Snyder and Joby Harold. Along with that credit, Hatten comes into the project having co-written John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum and TV movie (Future) Cult Classic. As Snyder expresses of the Army of the Dead universe plans in a statement:
“I’m incredibly excited for the opportunity to partner with Netflix again as we expand the Army of the Dead universe with both an international prequel, as well as exploring the visually dynamic world of animation. It’s been a great collaboration and we are thrilled that Netflix sees this as big of an IP as we do.”
With the untitled prequel movie set for production in Germany, Snyder has also pulled out the director’s chair for one of its natives in Army of the Dead cast member Matthias Schweighöfer, who is also set to star in the film, reprising his character, Ludwig Dieter. The actor has been cutting his teeth behind the camera, notably with episodes of the 2017-2018 Amazon Prime cyberthriller series (on which he stars), You Are Wanted, and 2015 comedy movie Manny. Zack Snyder will produce the film on behalf of his company, The Stone Quarry, which will also be represented by producer Deborah Snyder and Wesley Coller. Star/director Schweighöfer will also produce alongside Dan Maag, both of whom represent PANTALEON Films. As Schweighöfer lauds of the gig:
“It has already been a great pleasure to be part of this wonderful ensemble around Zack Synder – a fascinating project. I am happy that it is now being developed on so many different levels.”
Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas will be the title of the accompanying anime series, which is also set as a prequel to Snyder’s initial Netflix franchise offering. The series will be overseen by showrunner Jay Oliva (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and upcoming Netflix animated series Trese), who is also directing two episodes, joined in the latter capacity by Snyder himself, who will direct two episodes of his own. Like the prequel movie, the Stone Quarry trio of Snyder, Snyder and Coller will executive-produce the anime, joined in that capacity by Oliva and Hatten.
In contrast to the unknown details of the prequel movie, Netflix was more forthcoming regarding Lost Vegas. Indeed, with the movie from which it will be spun set to showcase a sizable ensemble led by wrestling superstar and Guardians of the Galaxy main cast member Dave Bautista, the series will follow the plot-setting exploits of Bautista’s character, Scott, in his initial attempt to lead a rescue crew through Las Vegas during the outset of the zombie plague; efforts that are obviously destined to fail, but should still be entertaining to witness. This is especially the case since the anime prequel will have the services of Army of the Dead cast members Bautista, Ana de la Reguera, Omari Hardwick Ella Purnell and Tig Notaro (who recently replaced the accusations-plagued Chris D’Elia), all of whom reprise their roles from the film, albeit in voice form.
Netflix has yet to reveal a release date for Army of the Dead other than the window of a 2021 premiere on the streaming platform. Consequently, no dates were revealed as of yet for the prequel movie or anime series.