Movies

Army of the Dead by Zack Snyder

Zack Snyder really did take a real casino gamble by agreeing to direct Warner Bros Picture’s Justice League back in 2017 but as fate would have it, following a family tragedy, he had to step down, effectively giving the reins over to none other than the director of The Avengers, Joss Whedon. 

Needless to say, the movie ultimately tanked, failing to live up to the hype of having most of the DC Comics’ top-tier superheroes on the big screen at the same time and the backlash of the fans was as furious as it was divided – some were criticizing Whedon for messing it up (again!), some were turning on Warner Bros for allowing this to happen and some, probably a bit harshly, were blaming Snyder himself.

But now, a couple of years in the future, he’s finally back and his sensational return to the director’s hot-seat will see him take charge of the movie that could combine both going to the casino to gamble and rising from the dead, poetically enough. In the future, this movie could become a great idea for creating thematic online casino games, as it has already been done more than once.

Army of the Dead is set to be released in winter 2020 and just in case you didn’t realize it so far, it will be directed by none other than Snyder himself. We already know quite a bit about the movie, actually, and of course – just like everything else worth a damn in this day and age – it will be a Netflix exclusive. 

Once you’ve managed to pick up your jaw off the floor after hearing this bombshell of an update, feel free to strap yourself back in for another rollercoaster of emotions. Not only will the movie reportedly have a whopping budget of around $90 million but it will star The Animal, Dave Bautista himself.

Of course, the former WWE wrestler is better known for his role in Marvel Cinematic Universes Guardians of the Galaxy and the third and final The Avengers: Endgame movie, where he plays the silent but hilarious Drax the Destroyer. 

But instead of kicking ass and taking names in a spaceship and next to a green, raging monster and the God of Thunder, Bautista will be performing the Batista Bomb on – wait for it – zombies in Las Vegas. And, roll credits.

Jokes aside, the movie will truly be set in “Sin City” and will feature Bautista, along with his supporting cast that consists of Ella Purnell, Theo Rossi, Hiroyuki Sanada, Chelsea Edmundson, and Raúl Castillo (among others), leading a crew of professionals, hired by one of the still-living Vegas casino owners, to enter the quarantined city and retrieve his money from a safe in his old casino.

So in short – it’s a heist movie in which a 50-year-old retired wrestler and part-time alien terminator leads a gang of renegades into a zombie-ridden Las Vegas to steal a lot of money stashed in a casino safe. Needless to say, that sounds… Brilliant!

Of course, that’s just me being extremely biased and excited to see this on the big screen. Oh wait, it’s on Netflix, let me rephrase that – that’s just me being extremely biased and excited to see this on my TV you can squeeze into your pocket if you try hard enough. But who cares, right? 

It’s Bautista and Snyder in what promises to be an action-packed, fast-paced and thrilling pile of flesh, blood, bullets, and spears – you get a spear, you get a spear, you get a spear… you get the point. I’d inform you that “the spear” was one of “Batista’s” signature moves back in the ring but it’s not fun when you have to explain the joke, eh?

Anyway, another thing that should get you excited and on board for this flick is the fact that Army of the Dead is essentially Snyder’s way back to his roots. If we cast our sights some years back, we can remember his remake of George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, which basically kick-started his career after it took over the scene.

Interestingly enough, this movie is already a whole decade in production but it was, obviously, postponed after a previous version of the film failed to stick at Warner Bros. in the late 2000s. 

Now, it seems that, as of right now, it will not have a direct link to Snyder’s first zombie adventure, Dawn of the Dead, nor will it be a sequel to it, but it’s definitely his ticket back into the land of the unliving. There were also some whispers of Snyder wanting to do a third one to round-off his insane zombie trilogy but more on that in due time.

All in all, Army of the Dead is looking to once again put characters into a place they seemingly don’t belong to. We’re likely to see zombies play casino games in a heist-adventure movie, which is definitely a first (as far as I’m aware) and it will be interesting to see Snyder work on such a genre once again with a considerably smaller budget than that of his usual superhero gigs.

Of course, $90 million is no joke but it’s also not that much when compared to the blockbuster movies that both DCEU and MCU deliver with every film. But regardless, this will be Snyder’s big return and since the man himself has already admitted that he’ll have as much creative freedom as possible, stating “no one’s ever let me completely loose [like this],”, it’s fair to say it definitely sounds promising.

As for the cast itself, Bautista hailed the diversity it shows in a rather emotional tweet on his official social media account. And indeed, with Bautista half-Filipino, co-star Castillo born to Mexican parents, Omari Hardwick African-American, and Theo Rossi boasting with Italian, Spanish, and Syrian ancestry, he is definitely not wrong.

And that’s just some of the cast’s ethnic and international diversity that’s on display on the set with more of them among other supporting roles that are also a part of the journey. This could be one of the breaking points of the film, considering the day and age in which we live in and we know these kinds of things are a must if the movie is to get any kind of recognition at all.

All that remains is to turtle up under a rock and wait for winter of 2020 to arrive and show us another Snyder masterpiece on screen. Granted, it might not be everyone’s cup of tea and it definitely won’t. After all, not all of us are weirdly into mercenaries robbing zombies and rightly so – to each his own.

But regardless, just like it was the case in every single one of his movies, Snyder is bound to put just a touch of his signature writing and his stylistic stamp into Army of the Dead, regardless of this being something completely different from what we’ve used to seeing from the big guy, at least in the modern days of superhero-dominated cinema. 

The fact that Netflix has chosen to get it out in the winter is also no mere coincidence either – if I recall correctly, for a couple of years running, they have released a new “money-grabber” every winter holidays as they knew people would likely be at home, under a blanket, watching Batista rob some zombies.  

A similar thing happened in 2017 with Bright being a big hit and then with Bird Box in 2018. Since then, they’ve also scheduled Michael Bay’s action-thriller 6 Underground for mid-December, hoping for a similar explosive effect. See what I did there? Michael Bay? Explosions? No? Okay, moving on.

For that same reason, this movie was also tipped by online betting companies to go down the same route and give us a massive end to 2020, just like its winter predecessors on Netflix have before.

To sum up, I’m not saying this movie will be this year’s hit because there’s still no way of knowing that but I have faith in Snyder and the cast looks decent enough with a goofy plot that promises to deliver fun and excitement.

At the end of the day, we can’t really ask for much more than that, can we?

 

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