Netflix may have joked during the buildup that Army of the Dead was the Snyder Cut, but there was clearly some footage left on the cutting room floor based on the epilogue of prequel Army of Thieves, which comfortably topped the most-watched list after landing on Friday.
Director, producer and leading man Matthias Schweighöfer offers a completely fresh spin on the mythology in the spinoff set six years before Snyder’s apocalyptic action blockbuster, telling the story of how mild-mannered bank worker Sebastian Schlencht-Wöhnert became master safecracker Ludwig Dieter.
There are references to the previous installment peppered throughout, but the epilogue uses an extended version of a scene from Army of the Dead to connect the dots in overt fashion. As well as outlining why Dieter was so obsessed when he saw the blueprints for the Götterdämmerung when we first met him, it also explains why he was found working in an establishment called Gwendoline’s.
Dropping Easter Eggs into a movie that releases five months before the backstory fills in the gaps is a unique way of building a mythology, and having Army of Thieves lead directly into Army of the Dead via a Snyder-directed sequence that runs longer than the version seen in the original cut is a neat method of ensuring the two projects are intrinsically linked, despite their vastly different genre trappings.