Before he directed 300, Man of Steel, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Zack Snyder took viewers to the mall for some shopping and zombie slaying in the 2004 remake of George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead. Now, nearly 15 years later, Snyder is diving back into the world of flesh eaters with the big-budget Netflix movie Army of the Dead, and it's been revealed that Dave Bautista is the first actor to join the zombified project.
The name and traits of Bautista's character have yet to be revealed, but according to THR, the long-gestating Army of the Dead is "set amid a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas, during which a man assembles a group of mercenaries to take the ultimate gamble, venturing into the quarantined zone to pull off the greatest heist ever attempted."
In addition to directing, Snyder will produce alongside his wife, Deborah, through their production company Stone Quarry, with Wesley Coller also on board as a producer.
Snyder conceived the story for Army of the Dead years ago (at one point in time, it was even considered as a potential sequel to Dawn of the Dead), and he will direct from a screenplay by Joby Harold (co-writer of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword).
Netflix acquired Army of the Dead from Warner Bros., where the movie had first been in the works all the way back in 2007. Filming on Army of the Dead is expected to begin this summer (according to THR) with a potential budget of $70 million (according to Deadline).
Snyder will reportedly have full creative freedom with Army of the Dead, and he shared his excitement about having "no handcuffs [on him]" with THR:
“I love to honor canon and the works of art, but this is the opportunity to find a purely joyful way to express myself though a genre. It will be the most kick-ass, self-aware—but not in a wink-to-the-camera way—balls-to-the-wall zombie freakshow that anyone has ever seen. No one’s ever let me completely loose [like this].”
We'll be sure to keep Daily Dead readers updated on Army of the Dead as more details are revealed. In the meantime, are you excited to see Bautista take on zombies in Snyder's next film?