Netflix’s Army of Thieves has set out a very interesting stall when it comes to building and expanding the universe first introduced in Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead, which became one of the platform’s ten most-watched movies ever after premiering in May.
Instead of an action-packed $100 million blockbuster where a team of badasses slaughter their way through the undead apocalypse, Matthias Schweighöfer’s prequel is a cross between The Italian Job and Ocean’s Eleven with some romantic comedy elements sprinkled throughout, which is about as far away from Snyder’s epic as you can get.
In a new interview with The Illuminerdi, co-star Stuart Martin explains how mixing up the genre and setup so drastically is the ideal way for Netflix’s latest stab at building a multimedia mythology to put itself on the map.
“What excited me most about the setup of the films, and how we jump into this, is it’s a completely different genre. We don’t move in the same vein and have to go, ‘Right, we have to build on this, we have to make it bigger. We have to have more zombies, we have to have a bigger set’. It’s a total genre mashup. We’ve got heist film European-based in Germany, with romantic comedy fairytale vibes.
That, to me, was really exciting, because I don’t quite think I’ve seen that in a universe. That’s how I want to see a universe expanded. I want to see something that sits over there in the timeline, and there, where else can you go with that? Do you have a straight up romantic, do you have a straight up indie? Where do you go with that? I think it’s really exciting.”
A succession of explosive undead actioners would admittedly grow old very quickly, but that doesn’t mean we’re not hyped for Snyder’s Planet of the Dead. Army of Thieves was an entertaining blueprint that could see the series continue to venture into uncharted territory, but there aren’t many other members of the original ensemble that have the obvious potential to headline their own film now that Dieter’s had his moment in the sun.