Matthias Schweighöfer was a largely unknown quantity to many viewers before his scene-stealing supporting performance as Dieter in Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead, and many fans were left surprised when he was announced to be directing spinoff Army of Thieves, as well as playing the lead role.
However, those that followed the actor and filmmaker’s career in his native Germany would have known that he was more than up to the task. Prior to Netflix’s cross-continental heist caper, Schweighöfer had helmed four popular comedy films, as well as the entirety of Amazon’s twelve-episode dramatic thriller You Are Wanted, all of which he also starred in.
The 40 year-old threw his hat into the ring when he was first told that a Dieter-centric spinoff was in development, but Zack and Deborah Snyder weren’t familiar with his work. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Schweighöfer reveals the producorial duo binged You Are Wanted to get a feel for his style and talents, while he also landed a recommendation from Netflix’s VP of International Film David Kosse.
“We hugged. Debbie and Zack were like, ‘What’s going on now? What did we miss?’. After that, it moved so fast. We got the green light, and Zack called me and said, ‘Do you want to direct?’.”
A lot of Army of Thieves fans will now be keen to check out Schweighöfer’s work on either side of the camera, and having always held an ambition to make it in Hollywood, he’s well-placed to see his Stateside career taken to the next level as a result.