Friends, earlier today Netflix released the official trailer for the upcoming Zack Snyder directed Army of the Dead, which looks like it is ready to double down on zombie action and thrills when it pits Dave Bautista against a horde of the living dead in Las Vegas. This is actually the first of three projects though in this new ‘Army’ zombie cinematic universe scheduled to hit Netflix. As there is also an upcoming anime series entitled Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas as well as a prequel film called Army of Thieves.
Snyder is no stranger though to the zombie genre thanks to 2004’s Dawn of the Dead, itself a remake of the classic 1978 film by the late and great George A. Romero. I was one of those many fans of Romero’s work that looked on the screenplay by James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) as well as the trailer for the remake of the movie with a healthy does of skepticism. Being a huge fan of the zombie genre though, I scheduled a day off from work so I could catch the first showing… and ten minutes after it began I was grinning ear to ear and planning on catching the second matinee as well. That opening to the Zack Snyder version of Dawn of the Dead managed to give you a slice of normalcy and calm before aggressively letting you see it all get swept away overnight.
Perhaps the most surprising fact of 2004’s Dawn of the Dead was just how much fun it was – it was a still a horror film to be sure – but Snyder and Gunn definitely provided some dark laughs and action to go along with the zombie carnage. And judging by the trailer for Army of the Dead it is a return to form for Snyder, especially with the “Always Bet on Dead” tagline as seen on the official poster. Word of warning though before you check out the trailer for yourself, there is a brief moment of SALTY language, but thankfully it doesn’t cross the PG-13 line. And kudos by the way to the filmmaker for using the 1978 cover of “The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers in the trailer below!
Dave Bautista plays Scott Walker, a former soldier who leads a team of mercenaries into the remains of Las Vegas in the hopes of securing $200 million dollars locked in a vault. Not only does the group have to contend with what looks like intelligent zombies and an undead tiger, but they only have 32 hours before a nuclear bomb is dropped on Las Vegas. If you listen closely to the news report at the beginning of that trailer, the city that never sleeps has been walled off to prevent the zombie hordes from spreading. So I think it’s safe to say that the $50 million pay out will still go a long way for Walker and his team… assuming any of them survive the job, right?
In addition to Bautista, the film also stars Theo Rossi (Luke Cage), Ella Purnell (Sweetbitter), Tig Notaro (One Mississippi), Ana de la Reguera (Goliath), Hiroyuki Sanada (Westworld), Omari Hardwick (Kick-Ass), Matthias Schweighöfer (You Are Wanted), Raúl Castillo (Ghost Tape), Nora Arnezeder (Safe House), Garret Dillahunt (Deadwood), and Samantha Win (Mortal Kombat: Legacy).
As I understand it from reading online, Army of the Dead will be released in select theaters beginning on May 14th with it hitting Netflix one week later.