The streaming giant Netflix has given subscribers a sneak peek at what they have lined up for viewing pleasure in 2021 and one of the more highly anticipated projects comes from Zack Snyder and stars Guardians of the Galaxy’s Dave Bautista in Army of the Dead.
Zombies, heist, Sin City, and Dave Bautista. Who’s ready for a bloody good time? You can catch the quick clip near the 1:15 mark in the preview below.
The sneak peek is introduced by superstars Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot, and Ryan Reynolds, who are on board to not only showcase Netflix’s upcoming 2021 schedule but also their new Netflix action movie Red Notice.
Army of the Dead can be described with three simple words, “Zombie heist movie.” The movie, starring Dave Bautista, is set during a zombie plague that first starts in Nevada. According to Snyder, who also penned the script, he got his idea for the film after completing his remake of the George A. Romero classic Dawn of the Dead. This new film’s zombie set up comes from a plague being released from Nevada’s secret Area 51 military base. The plague comes to Las Vegas and the government has been able to contain the plague by building a wall around the famous Sin City. And as Snyder describes it to Entertainment Weekly, “It is a full-blown, balls-to-the-wall zombie heist movie, so it’s genre-on-genre in a great way.” And the short 6-second clip that arrives in the middle of the Netflix 2021 preview gives fans the idea they will be seeing plenty of mayhem and gore.
The clip begins with Dave Bautista stating, “I love movies cause they help me escape.” Fans are then treated to quick shots of a helicopter flying, unknown people (though one is most definitely Bautista) walking into a large safe, and Bautista getting ready to shoot his weapon. Again, the clip is quick, but you’ll get the idea of what Snyder has in store for subscribers. Snyder confirmed that point to EW, “So you expect pure zombie mayhem, and you get that, 100 percent.” Snyder also says there is an element that you may not expect to see in a “zombie heist movie.” He added, “But also you get these really amazing characters on a fantastic journey. It’s going to surprise people that there’s a lot of warmth and real emotion with these great characters.”
Snyder goes on to tell EW that the movie first began over at Warner Bros. but they were reluctant to spend the kind of money Snyder needed to bring his vision to life. “They didn’t want to spend that kind of money on a zombie movie, or just didn’t take it that seriously,” Snyder says. “I was always like, ‘Look guys, this is more than [just a zombie movie],’ but it fizzled out.” Then Netflix stepped in and ponied up the money, which was not only a surprise to Snyder but how quickly they wanted to get things rolling.
“We were in a meeting at Netflix and I was talking about some of these scripts I was working on,” Snyder recalls. “And I mentioned the idea to [Scott Stuber, Netflix head of original films] and he was like, ‘That is the movie! Go write that movie and let’s make it.’ I was like, ‘What, do you mean now?’ And he’s like, ‘Go write it tomorrow and we’ll do shoot it in a week.'” Not only was Netflix and Stuber excited about Snyder’s vision, but they also created a four-hour animated series that covers the beginnings of the zombie plague. “Sufficed to say, that it does come from Area 51 — that’s in the film’s opening scene – and then the whole cast is in the animated series, along with Christian Slater as the bad guy. We really do a super deep dive on where this like zombie plague came from,” explains Snyder.
Snyder reached out to Dave Bautista to become his leading man and as Bautista recalls, he turned down the offer. He explained to EW, “I said I wasn’t interested,” Bautista recalls. “I had this chip on my shoulder and was looking for juicy [dramatic roles]. Then I read the script and it was a lot deeper and had more layers than I thought. And also, to be quite frank, I wanted to work with Zack.” He became so interested that he even turned down a role in James Gunn’s upcoming The Suicide Squad just so he could keep his part in Army of the Dead.