Zack Snyder made his feature film debut with the release of the horror remake Dawn of the Dead back in 2004. A remake that was actually good (George A. Romero said, “It was better than I expected.”). A follow-up had been discussed and developed for years. As revealed by the Hollywood Reporter, the project has been resurrected as Snyder is returning to the horror genre to direct and produce Army of the Dead for Netflix, alongside his wife and producer Deborah Snyder.
A sequel had been in the works over at Warner Bros since 2007 and was to be directed by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr (director of The Thing prequel). However, when talking to Moviehole back in 2012, van Heijningen Jr mentioned that it was unlikely to happen “because of the expense of shooting in Las Vegas.” The latest news indicates that Netflix sought the project out from Warner Bros.
Snyder came up with the story, which was scripted by Joby Harold. Following a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas, the city is contained. One man assembles a group of mercenaries to help search for his daughter trapped inside, but the men are more interested in the money stored in the casinos.
“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,” said Snyder of getting back to directing, following his departure from Justice League after the death of his daughter. “This is the opportunity to find a purely joyful way to express myself through 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].”
Army of the Dead is to be the first film from Snyder’s new rebranded production company, The Stone Quarry. Shooting begins this summer, with a production budget that could be as high as $90 million.