Army Of The Dead Almost Cast Dave Bautista As Vanderohe
Dave Bautista revealed that he turned down a role in The Suicide Squad that had been written specifically for him by James Gunn in order to play the lead in Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead, but it turns out that Scott Ward wasn’t initially who the director had the former professional wrestler in mind for.
There’s an obvious and clear love-in between Bautista and Snyder, both of whom have admitted in the aftermath of Netflix’s undead actioner that they’d been looking to work with each other for a long time, but the Guardians of the Galaxy star dropped the surprising bombshell that, in the earlier stage of Army of the Dead‘s development, he was earmarked as Vanderohe instead.
“We’ve been trying to work on a project together for years. Originally, I guess when they wrote Vanderohe, they thought of me. Then, as they came close to casting, he said, ‘Dave’s not Vanderohe. Dave’s Scott’, and he called me and asked if I’d do the part. I really appreciated that Zack Snyder was personally asking me to play the part. That meant a lot to me.”
Even more surprising is the revelation that Scott Glenn was Snyder’s original choice to head up the ensemble, with the two becoming friends after collaborating on Sucker Punch. Admittedly, this would have been roughly a decade ago when Army of the Dead was set up at Warner Bros. with Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. set to helm the project, but it’s fascinating to think how much it would have changed the movie.
Glenn might be three decades older than Bautista, but the 82-year-old is very much cut from the J.K. Simmons cloth of being a veteran character actor that’s also a grizzled and ripped badass, so he would have brought an entirely different type of physicality to the role than the hulking ex-WWE grappler.
Omari Hardwick ended up as Vanderohe once Snyder reshuffled the pieces in the wake of Army of the Dead‘s migration to Netflix, and both he and Bautista wound up being singled out for praise thanks to their performances.