Zack Snyder's Army of the Dead is almost here, and the first reviews are out! Yes, not only does it have the iconic action movie director behind the camera, but he's directing a cast led by one of the most interesting action movie leads.
And since this is a return to the franchise — Snyder directed the excellent 2004 film Dawn of the Dead — fans have every reason to be excited. Plus, Snyder's involved at all angles of this film: in addition to directing, he's credited for the story and co-writing the screenplay.
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While Army of the Dead doesn't appear to have direct connections to Dawn of the Dead, it is getting its own anime-style TV series (Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas) and a prequel film to grow a micro-universe. Co-star Matthias Schweighöfer will direct and star in the film.
Zack Snyder's Army of the Dead release date on Netflix
We have a short (but not that long) wait for Army of the Dead: it arrives on Netflix on May 21, 2021.
That said, theaters will get first dibs, as Army of the Dead arrives in your local multiplex on May 14.
Can't wait? Netflix's YouTube channel will stream the first 15 minutes of Army of the Dead on Thursday, May 13. It all starts at 1 p.m. ET, with an interactive experience where fans will "be part of unlocking" the opening minutes of the movie.
Snyder himself, plus stars Dave Bautista, Omari Hardwick, Ella Purnell, Ana De La Reguera and Matthias Schweighöfer will be on-hand. The video will be live for only 32 hours afterward.
Zack Snyder's Army of the Dead reviews
The early reviews for Army of the Dead are strong. The Hollywood Reporter says "The energy and inventiveness on display at all levels here — not to mention the sly humor — make Army of the Dead an ass-kicking epic franchise debut."
Variety goes further, saying "If you go to see just one movie this year, Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead might be the ticket ... because it’s a stylishly grandiose, muscular but conventional popcorn pageant that’s got something for just about everyone."
The AV Club also loves it, saying "In a way, this B-movie on an A budget gets closer to the values of George Romero, the godfather of zombie cinema, than Snyder’s actual, hyper-adrenalized remake of Romero’s masterpiece."
Zack Snyder's Army of the Dead trailer
The new trailer for Army of the Dead starts off with Dave Bautista getting recruited from his job working at a diner. Before he reunites with familiar faces, he unboxes a big arsenal of weaponry. Oh, and we see a zombie tiger. The clip is set to Kenny Roger's "The Gambler."
The first trailer starts off, as many Snyder films and clips do, with a slow-playing ballad (Judy Garland's "Lucky Day") that precedes a lot of mayhem. Soon, we learn that Las Vegas has been bit by the zombie bug, and that its best bet for survival is a group of violent mercenaries.
This isn't spelled out directly, as much as it's made clear from the grit of the crew plowing through the undead with lots of shrapnel. And at the end of the clip, we see that much like Danny Ocean's crew, they're in Vegas for the money.
Zack Snyder's Army of the Dead cast
The Army of the Dead cast is led by Dave Bautista as mercenary Scott Ward. Yes, the former WWE champion who made his bones on-screen as Drax the Destroyer in the Marvel movies (and will be seen in Dune on HBO Max) is getting all the work these days.
The cast also includes comedian Tig Notaro (as Marianne Peters) and Power's Omari Hardwick (as Vanderohe). Here's the rest cast, as we know it at the moment:
- Ella Purnell as Kate Ward
- Ana de la Reguera as Cruz
- Matthias Schweighöfer as Ludwig Dieter
- Nora Arnezeder as Lily "The Coyote"
- Hiroyuki Sanada as Hunter Bly
- Raúl Castillo as Mikey Guzman
- Garret Dillahunt as Frank Peters
- Samantha Win as Chambers
- Theo Rossi as Burt Cummings
- Huma Qureshi as Geeta
- Richard Cetrone as Zeus
- Chelsea Edmundson as Misty Hillman
- Steve Corona as Mr. Hillman
Zack Snyder's Army of the Dead: Chris D'Elia replaced
After Army of The Dead finished filming, actor/comedian Chris D'Elia was removed for the film when multiple women came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct. Comedian Tig Notaro was cast to replace him, and Snyder explained the situation by telling EW that "We just felt like the right thing to do ... It was the best thing to do not just for the property but for respecting humanity and people and decency. In the end, it was a pretty easy choice."
Notaro filmed all her scenes against a green screen, which made her think she "was the focal point of everything."