Zack Snyder has found his first post-Justice League movie in the Netflix zombie film Army of the Dead. The polarizing director made his directorial debut with fellow zombie film Dawn of the Dead, in 2004 but quickly found his way to bigger material. His rise culminated with control of the DC universe, beginning with Man of Steel.
Snyder took a very particular angle with his DC movies, and did not win over everyone in the process. Man of Steel was his best received entry critically, but Warner Bros. pushed for a cinematic universe to be built quick, resulting in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and then Justice League releasing in the span of two years. Unfortunately, Snyder could not see his vision through for a variety of reasons, but largely due to the death of his daughter and him stepping away from Justice League during post-production.
According to THR, Snyder finally has plotted his next move, and it is to take Army of the Dead to Netflix. The zombie horror-thriller film will mark his first directorial effort since his DC split. Production is expected to begin this summer and will have a budget close to $90 million. Army of the Dead centers around a man who hires a group of mercenaries to invade Las Vegas during a zombie outbreak to pull off “the greatest heist ever attempted.” Snyder teased his own excitement for the project by telling THR, “There are no handcuffs on me at all with this one.” After also calling the film a “palete cleanser,” Snyder elaborated on his take by saying the following:
I love to honor canon and the works of art, but this is the opportunity to find a purely joyful way to express myself though a genre. It will be the most kick-ass, self-aware — but not in a wink-to-the-camera way — balls-to-the-wall zombie freakshow that anyone has ever seen. No one’s ever let me completely loose [like this].
Snyder hasn’t been completely inactive since stepping away from Justice League, but Army of the Dead will be his proper return to directing. He made a short film Snow Stream Iron that was released early last year, and then confirmed he would direct an adaptation of The Fountainhead. Based on his new comments about adaptations and the freedom that comes with Netflix, it appears he has left The Fountainhead behind to direct Army of the Dead instead. And, if the movie is going to film this summer as reported, then it may not be too long before the cast is announced. The size of the cast is not yet clear, but the appeal of working with Snyder and Netflix could draw plenty of stars to the project.
Although Snyder has created some divisive films in the past, the zombie landscape brought him the most critical acclaim of his career right from the start. He now has the opportunity to return to this genre, and given his eye for action and experience with zombie thrills, Army of the Dead may prove to be the perfect next step for Snyder to take. His take appears to mix the zombie genre with the style of an Ocean’s movie, which sounds unique with potential for plenty of fun. If everything goes smoothly, Army of the Dead should be available to stream on Netflix sometime in 2020 and hopefully continues Snyder’s return.