Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead was an action-packed and effects-driven $100 million blockbuster that saw a ragtag band of thieves, criminals and mercenaries infiltrate a zombie-infested Las Vegas to pull off an impossible heist, all while trying to survive an onslaught of the undead.
Netflix were open when it came to admitting it was only the start of an entire cinematic universe, but it was still a surprise when the next installment was revealed to be a prequel set six years in the past and on the other side of the planet, with Army of Thieves a breezy crime caper described as Ocean’s Eleven with romantic comedy elements.
It wasn’t the obvious next step for the nascent franchise, but in a new interview with CBR, Snyder explained why he wanted to alter the format so drastically, and yet have it tie directly into Army of the Dead.
“I think because the safe was so central to Army of the Dead and that understanding of the Götterdämmerung mythological roots. And why? Why this character would be so obsessed and so instantly hooked by the potential to find the Götterdämmerung and break it and crack it. You know, that idea that, like, it’s so intriguing in Army of the Dead that you’re just like, ‘Well, why? What? How does he know all this? Like, what is this?’. And now to see a whole movie that explains why is just kind of really fun.”
Nobody’s expecting many zombies in Army of Thieves, although the impending apocalypse in the United States will unfold in the background of the story. Changing the setup of the various spinoffs is a smart way to continue expanding the mythology without having staleness set in, while Snyder’s direct sequel Planet of the Dead will continue in the spectacle-driven vein of the opener.