Army of the Dead: Netflix’s New Zombie Zone
By Kirsten Howard
Netflix has gambled a lot of money on a new zombie bet.
The streaming service has tried to snag its own version of a Walking Dead-type success story on a few previous occasions.
The most notable of these are Z Nation spinoff series Black Summer and post-apocalyptic comedy-drama Daybreak, which was canceled after one season.
The popular Santa Clarita Diet, starring Drew Barrymore, also made it to three seasons before being nixed.
Now Netflix has recruited auteur Zack Snyder to launch a fresh zombie universe.
Back in 2004, Zack Snyder made his feature film debut with Dawn of the Dead.
The project was a remake of George A. Romero's classic 70s horror, reimagined by Snyder and Guardians of the Galaxy scribe James Gunn.
Like the original, it centers on a group of people taking refuge from flesh-eating zombies in a shopping mall.
But the remake skewed more towards action and violence and ditched most of the sociopolitical subtext of Romero’s film.
Dawn of the Dead went on to gross over $100 million at the global box office, and is considered one of the best modern zombie films.
Although Snyder went on to make other films while developing his signature style, he became drawn into the world of superheroes for a long time.
The director became the maestro of DC’s Extended Universe, helming Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League.
It seems Snyder has left the DCEU behind for good, but he’s returned to the zombie genre this year for Army of the Dead.
Army of the Dead is a heist movie that follows a group of mercenaries entering a dangerous zombie quarantine zone in Las Vegas.
Leading the cast is Dave Bautista from James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy franchise.
Snyder’s return to zombie glory has been well received by critics, and Netflix is planning to make a prequel film and an animated series.
Army of Thieves will take place before the events of Army of the Dead, and will focus on Matthias Schweighöfer’s character, Ludwig Dieter.
Meanwhile, anime series Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas will explore the early stages of the zombie outbreak.