By the time his brand new cut of Justice League premieres on HBO Max next month, Zack Snyder will have spent over a decade working almost exclusively within the realms of the DCEU, having initially been hired to helm Man of Steel in late 2010. In fact, not even including his directorial output, the filmmaker has only been credited on just one non-superhero project in that entire time having executive produced 300: Rise of an Empire.
Now that his association with Justice League is almost over, though, the focus can start shifting towards Netflix’s zombie heist thriller Army of the Dead, which is reportedly set to premiere on the streaming service in May. And as his first film outside the DCEU sandbox since Sucker Punch, it’ll be interesting to see if Snyder comes back to other genres with his batteries fully recharged and raring to go.
The concept is about as high as it gets, with a team of expert thieves planning to rob a Las Vegas casino in the midst of the zombie apocalypse, and the potential is definitely there for a no holds barred, balls to the wall blockbuster that doesn’t take itself too seriously, although that’s been a problem for a lot of Snyder’s work.
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In a new interview, the director admitted that Army of the Dead was one of the most satisfying experiences of his entire career, letting him get back to basics by acting as the cinematographer for the very first time on one of his big screen features.
“When I made TV commercials, I was the director-cameraman. You know, for twelve years, and pretty much not every job but most of the jobs I shot myself. And I just really enjoy it. And really, part of the reason is that you know, the bigger the movies got, the further away you get from the camera. The more infrastructure there is between you and the sort of cinematic experience. You don’t touch the world as closely.
And so, I just felt like with Army it was a great opportunity to just get really close to the photography and to the actors. Frankly, everyone’s like, ‘How can you shoot the movie and direct the movie?’, and I’m like, it’s incredibly easy because the actors are like right there and conversation is easy. The pace is easy because I can just work that way. It’s just really nice. It was really one of the best, really most satisfying sort of experiences I’ve had making a movie, as far as that aspect of it goes.”
Netflix clearly have high hopes for Army of the Dead given that a prequel is already in the can and an anime series is in the works, and audiences will be keen to see how Snyder has fared with his first movie since finally drawing a line under Justice League.