At a virtual event, the filmmaker discussed his version of the undead, the cast, director’s cut and more.
Director Zack Snyder began this Tuesday (13) by revealing the first full trailer for Army of the Dead: Invasion in Las Vegas, his zombie movie on Netflix. At a digital event for journalists, the filmmaker commented on the project, the cast and more. See everything about Army of the Dead below!
ZACK SNYDER’S RETURN TO TERROR
While the director’s name is associated with comic book adaptations, such as his films in DC or 300 and Watchmen, Zack Snyder started in terror. Back in 2004, he made his directorial debut with Madrugada dos Mortos, a remake of George A. Romero’s classic. Now, 17 years later, he returns to the undead subgenre, which he praised during the event, saying that “it combines elements of terror and social commentary.”
His film, however, is not only inspired by zombie works, but also New York Escape and Enigma of Another World, classics by director John Carpenter.
Whether on epic shots or in slow motion, Snyder’s visual style is one of his biggest hallmarks. But the filmmaker only achieved this through several collaborations with Larry Fong, responsible for the photography direction of 300, Watchmen, Sucker Punch and Batman vs. Super man. In Army of the Dead, Snyder “dismissed” his colleague and did a double shift, taking care of both the direction and the photography, in addition to having done the entire storyboard of the film on an iPad. But Snyder assured that he did not leave Fong out, and that there are numerous references to his partner throughout the film.
DECONSTRUCTION OF THE ZUMBI
Throughout the event, Zack Snyder stressed several times that his goal here is to make a film full of action, blood and fun, and that part of his approach was to rethink the image of zombies. “In this film, I wanted to deconstruct zombies, heroes and villains,” said the director about the role of monsters and protagonists.
The antagonists of Army of the Dead are divided into two categories: Shamblers, the common undead; and the Alfas, an evolution of the zombie that is agile and highly intelligent, able to organize itself in groups. The filmmaker describes these as a pack, which hunts together, and says that they are able to open doors, climb stairs and more.
In addition, the trailer gives a taste of the infection in the animals by showing a humming tiger (affectionately called Valentine, according to the director). In the Army of the Dead universe, everything is subject to the virus – except birds, for some reason.
In every apocalypse story, origin becomes an issue for the public. Zack Snyder intends to answer it in a derivative (more on that in the next item), but he gave an idea of what to expect. At the event, a fan questioned whether the director agrees with the theory that George A. Romero’s undead are actually aliens. Snyder did not deny or confirm, but said to keep an eye on the feature that it will be answered, in addition to emphasizing how Area 51 – the mysterious US military base – has a role in the film.
Army of the Dead is already being thought of as a franchise, and many of the projects are already in development. In addition to Snyder’s film, there is also a derivative called Army of Thieves, which will focus on the past of Ludwig Dieter, a character of Matthias Schweighöfer who is the expert in breaking into safes in the group of robbers. The German actor will be the director of the side project.
In addition, the origin of the zombie apocalypse will be told in the animated series Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas, which will be directed by Snyder and will return much of the cast from the main film. None of the derivative projects has a date to date.
THE ROLE OF DAVE BAUTISTA
One of the few special guest appearances at the event was that of Dave Bautista, an actor who plays the protagonist Scott Ward. Beside Snyder, he commented on how he joined the feature. The filmmaker said he would love to work with Bautista for his role as Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy, by James Gunn (who, remember, was a screenwriter for the Dawn of the Dead remake). “He is insane and fun in Guardians,” praised Snyder, who also spoke about the challenge that Bautista has in playing a protagonist who needs to be a tough assailant, a caring father and, of course, be in a good mood.
Bautista, on the other hand, revealed that, at first, he was left behind because of his career goals. “I want to prove myself as an actor, so I was avoiding action movies,” he said. What convinced the actor was precisely the project to be by Snyder, of whom Bautista revealed to be a big fan on account of 300, a film he described as one of his favorites in life.
WITHOUT SNYDER CUT
Zack Snyder is known for recording a lot of additional material that is left out of the initial version, and only later is added in a director’s version. Here, however, the film that arrives on Netflix in May will be the definitive version: “This is the director’s cut”, guaranteed the filmmaker, who spent much of the event praising the freedom that Netflix gave in creating the film based on the “script absurd ”that he wrote with Shay Hatten and Joby Harold.
In the Army of the Dead plot, the zombie infestation begins in Las Vegas, a city in the United States known for its luxury casinos and hotels, and is contained within the city limits by walls. Six years later, the owner of one of these casinos hires a private army to invade the city and retrieve the money left in his safe during the evacuation of the site.
The cast of the main film also features Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell, Theo Rossi, Ana De La Reguera, Tig Notaro and Huma Qureshi.
Army of the Dead will be released on May 21 on Netflix.