Zack Snyder’s new zombie action movie Army of the Dead doesn’t hit Netflix until next year, but the streamer has already begun developing a multi-language prequel and an anime series, Netflix announced on Wednesday.
Army of the Dead follows a group of mercenaries who try to pull off the greatest heist ever attempted in the middle of a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas. The film boasts a cool international ensemble led by Dave Bautista, and the international prequel — which sources say has been in the works for several months — will be directed by German actor Matthias Schweighöfer, and will follow his Army of the Dead character Ludwig Dieter.
Meanwhile, the anime series, Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas, will chronicle the origin story of Bautista’s character, Scott, and his rescue crew during the initial fall of Vegas as they confront the mysterious source of the zombie outbreak.
Snyder will direct two episodes of the anime series, while Jay Oliva will also direct two episodes in addition to serving as showrunner. Shay Hatten, who co-wrote Army of the Dead with Snyder and Joby Harold, will also write the script for the prequel, as well as the anime series. Hatten and Oliva will executive produce the anime series with Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder and Wesley Coller of The Stone Quarry. As for the prequel, it will be produced out of Germany by Schweighöfer and Dan Maag of Pantaleon Films, and the Snyders will produce that film as well with Coller.
Bautista, Ana de la Reguera, Tig Notaro, Omari Hardwick and Ella Purnell will reprise their feature roles in the anime series. Notaro recently joined the AOTD cast despite the fact that principal photograph wrapped last year, replacing fellow comedian Chris D’Elia following multiple accusations of sexual assault. I believe Notaro will be playing a helicopter pilot in the film, which has previously been described as a “spiritual successor” to Snyder’s 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead.
“I’m incredibly excited for the opportunity to partner with Netflix again as we expand the Army of the Dead universe with both an international prequel, as well as exploring the visually dynamic world of animation. It’s been a great collaboration and we are thrilled that Netflix sees this as big of an IP as we do,” Snyder said in a statement.
“It has already been a great pleasure to be part of this wonderful ensemble around Zack Snyder — a fascinating project. I am happy that it is now being developed on so many different levels,” added Schweighöfer.
Snyder is unable to direct the prequel given his current focus on his new cut of Justice League, which was heavily hyped at DC FanDome last month in advance of its 2021 debut on HBO Max. The Snyder Cut will be presented in four hour-long episodes, and Warner Bros. has given Snyder tens of millions of dollars to complete his vision following a public outcry from fans.
The Snyders are also credited producers on Wonder Woman 1984, which remains slated for release on Oct. 2. Click here to watch the latest trailer, which gives us our first glimpse of Kristen Wiig’s villain Cheetah.