The zombie genre has remained incredibly popular for over 50 years since George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead first put the shuffling undead on the Hollywood cinematic map, but nobody’s going into these movies expecting things like logic, common sense or scientific accuracy.
Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead is coming to Netflix next month, and the filmmaker’s first zombie effort since his feature debut seventeen years ago makes it look as though he hasn’t lost a trick. The trailer promised the sort of mega budget R-rated hybrid of action and horror that we don’t see anywhere near often enough, probably because nobody apart from a streaming service would be willing to spend upwards of $100 million on such a project.
The breakout star of the most recent promo was undeniably zombified white tiger Valentine, with the internet almost immediately falling in love with the creature. In a new interview, Snyder says that the idea arrived very early on in the development process, and it makes complete sense to him within the context of Army of the Dead‘s heightened sense of fantastical reality.
“I guess we knew, in a way, Valentine was gonna be a star. It was me who came up with the zombie tiger. I think we had a zombie tiger in there for a long time, I think it was one of those early ideas. We knew we wanted to do zombie animals and so, I thought, ‘For sure, it just makes sense if you’re gonna do Vegas’. Always in this concept, it was this idea that we would evolve the zombies or there would be a hierarchy, there would be some sort of organization. You’ll learn in the movie the ‘why’ of it because it’s very specific about why certain zombies are Shamblers, and certain zombies are Alphas, it’s very particular.”
Army of the Dead is virtually guaranteed to draw a bumper audience on Netflix, and it could be one of the best zombie flicks we’ve seen in a long while. After all, with the exception of World War Z, the subgenre never tends to be given particularly hefty budgets to realize the sort of awe-inspiring carnage that the undead apocalypse would wreak on humanity, and it’s not as if Snyder is a director known for his restraint, either.