Borys Kit’s THR/Heat Vision exclusive announced on Tuesday that Zack Snyder is set to direct Army of the Dead for Netflix from a script by Joby Harold. Cameras are set to roll this summer with Snyder and wife and film partner Deborah Snyder producing via their Stone Quarry banner with Wesley Coller.
The adventure is set amid a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas, during which a man assembles a group of mercenaries to take the ultimate gamble, venturing into the quarantined zone to pull off the greatest heist ever attempted.
Army Of The Dead, originally brewed at Warner Bros. in 2007, reportedly reunites Snyder with Netflix’s Scott Stuber who gave the director his big break with his 2004 directorial debut, Dawn Of The Dead. The film is also being assembled with a budget close to $90 million and will essentially allow Snyder to stretch his creative muscles.
“I thought this was a good palate cleanser to really dig in with both hands and make something fun and epic and crazy and bonkers in the best possible way,” he says.
Apart from 300 and Watchmen, Snyder is best known for shepherding Man Of Steel and Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice. The progress of his 2017 follow-up, Justice League, was soon mired by the tragic loss of his daughter, Autumn, from suicide in Spring that year.
By May, Joss Whedon (The Avengers) was tapped to wrap up post-production while the Snyders stepped away from the public spotlight to focus on “family, working with suicide awareness causes, and a regrouping of [Snyder’s] company…” Thus, it’s been close to two years since then and it appears Snyder is ready to make a worthwhile comeback following his DC stint which is already commencing an in-house restructuring at Warner Bros.
“I love to honor canon and the works of art,” he says of his adaptations, “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].”
The report goes on:
Snyder says he’s been energized by the prospect of making this particular story. “I love big action, I love big sequences,” he says. “My movie brain starts clicking around and I was like, ‘We need to be shooting this now!’ Constructing these sequences really fired me up.”
One thing Snyder has missed, even while making his mega-tentpoles, is actually operating a camera and “being in the trenches.”
“When the movie gets super big, you get pushed away from the camera,” he notes. “And in the last few years I’ve had a reconnection with photography. This movie will be a chance to get the camera in hand.”
Kit also notes Army Of The Dead could set a precedent in dealmaking with Netflix pursuing its acquisition from WB.