MANILA, Philippines — Did you know that “Army of the Dead” was 17 years in the making?
In a recent Netflix virtual press conference attended by Philstar.com, "Army of the Dead" writer and director Zach Snyder revealed that it was first turned down by Warner Bros. because of its big budget requirement. He also said that the movie was not written for him to direct so he wrote it from scratch.
At the press con, Snyder revealed other fun facts about the film:
More evolved zombies
Though it was a follow-up to his action horror flick "Dawn of the Dead," "Army of the Dead" features zombies that are different from its 2004 predecesor. The zombies, this time, have been described by Snyder as "awesome" and "formidable" or "cannot be beat in a fight," but are "not ambitious," meaning, they are "like lions that act out only when poked."
As such, great acting is required from stuntmen to make the zombies seem as if nobody survives them.
Yes, even zombies have names
Likewise, in "Army of the Dead," the zombies are led by "mythological-like" "Alphas" or most-evolved zombies such as the king, Zeus; the queen, Athena (after the hot actress who played her, Athena Perample, who first rose to fame as a cheerleader on "Glee") and Spider, the general.
Snyder's pick for 'scariest' zombies
Among the many "species" of zombies seen in many zombie films, Snyder thought the "I Am Legend" zombies are "pretty scary" and strong because they are like a hybrid between vampires and zombies.
Difference from other zombie movies
While the zombies in other films seem to be set in a certain period, the zombies in "Army of the Dead," said Snyder, are "based in another world" that he led in creating.
The director admitted that like other movies (most notably Marvel films that had Stan Lee), he also had an "Army of the Dead" cameo, but not as a zombie.
According to him, his image was briefly flashed in the mirror inside the casino.
Why Las Vegas
The best zombie movies, he said, are social commentaries. And Vegas, he said, is an "excellent place for origin" because it raises the stakes high for people to want to go there despite risks because it has a lot of money.
Why Dave Bautista
He also expressed his admiration for the film's main star, Filipino-American actor Dave Bautista.
“I love Dave. Dave and I have been talking for years about doing movie. I don’t want to do another action movie. I like his vulnerability, he plays a very broken character that tries to reconnect with daughter, why I chose him to play,” he said.
Not just zombies: It's about father-daughter relationship
The director bared that the movie centers on the father and daughter relationship between Scott and Kate.
According to Snyder, he wrote Scott and Kate's characters based on his own experience as a dad.
"I went through my own catharsis, my greatest heights and lows from my own children – and channeled those pain and joy in writing Scott and Kate," he shared.
Even Zeus, the zombie king, has been portrayed as a loving father in the film.
Not a pandemic film
In response to a Philstar.com question if Snyder sees any parallelism between the movie and the pandemic, the "Justice League" director said: “It depends on the viewer. But ('Army of the Dead') was custom-made for viewers of all times. If you want to make a weird deep-dive about what mythological representation of zombies, holding up a mirror to ourselves, that’s fine, too. If you want to be political – there's the wall, refugee camps, the heist part of it. But a father and daughter relationship is what I really want it to be."
According to him, "After doing giant superhero movies that get you further away from the camera… shooting zombies are my favorite part of the cinematic experience."
He revealed that the movie was also epecially made for TV, "but with big giant movie approach to give you a movie feeling even from home."
'Origin' movie in the works
"Army of the Dead" is already spawning a film prequel and anime series at Netflix. Shay Hatten, one of the writers of the screenplay for "Army of the Dead," will write the prequel as well as the anime series.
“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," Snyder said in a Netflix statement released last September.
The prequel will be directed by and star Grimme Award winner Matthias Schweighöfer and will follow his Army of the Dead character “Ludwig Dieter”. The movie will be produced out of Germany. The film will be produced by Deborah Snyder, Zack Snyder and Wesley Coller of The Stone Quarry and Matthias Schweighöfer and Dan Maag of Pantaleon Films.
“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," said Matthias Schweighöfer.
The anime series, "Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas," chronicles the origin story of Scott (Dave Bautista) and his rescue crew during the initial fall of Vegas as they confront the mysterious source of the zombie outbreak. Snyder will direct 2 episodes of the anime series. Jay Oliva (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and upcoming Netflix Original Anime Series Trese) will be showrunning as well as directing 2 episodes of the series. The series will be Executive Produced by Deborah Snyder, Zack Snyder, Wesley Coller from The Stone Quarry alongside Jay Olivia and Shay Hatten. Bautista, Ana de la Reguera, Tig Notaro, Omari Hardwick and Ella Purnell will reprise their roles in the anime series.
Snyder’s Army of the Dead features an all-star international cast including Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell, Ana De La Reguera, Theo Rossi, Huma Qureshi, Omari Hardwick, Tig Notaro, Hiroyuki Sanada, Garret Dillahunt, Matthias Schweighöfer, Raúl Castillo, Nora Arnezeder, Samantha Win and is produced by The Stone Quarry’s Deborah Snyder, Zack Snyder and Wesley Coller. The film will be released on Netflix in 2021 and follows a group of mercenaries into a zombie infested Las Vegas, Nevada who try to pull off the greatest heist ever attempted. — Reports from Jan Milo Severo
Credit belongs to : www.philstar.com