Zack Snyder’s imminently-arriving “Snyder Cut” of 2017’s Justice League may be the dominant topic about the director, but his hiatus-breaking comeback with Netflix film Army of the Dead also draws near. Interestingly, while there’s still no release date for said film, it appears that its streaming giant platform is already planning to expand the zombie-battling franchise with a prequel movie and anime series. Yes, folks, an “ArmyoftheDeadverse” is nigh at Netflix.
Netflix has announced its expansion plans for, as the company puts it, a “Universe” of Snyder’s Army of the Dead, which, itself, is a sequel to his 2004 breakthrough, Dawn of the Dead. While Snyder—who directed and co-wrote the upcoming film—will certainly remain the creative fulcrum for the follow-up offerings, some interesting choices were made to handle the day-to-day duties. Indeed, the prequel movie and anime series will both be written by Shay Hatten, who co-wrote the Army of the Dead screenplay with Snyder and Joby Harold. Along with that credit, Hatten comes into the projects having co-written John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum and TV movie (Future) Cult Classic. As Snyder expresses of the Army of the Dead universe plans in a statement:
“I’m incredibly excited for the opportunity to partner with Netflix again as we expand the Army of the Dead universe with both an international prequel, as well as exploring the visually dynamic world of animation. It’s been a great collaboration and we are thrilled that Netflix sees this as big of an IP as we do.”
With the untitled prequel movie set for production in Germany, Snyder has also pulled out the director’s chair for one of its natives in Army of the Dead cast member Matthias Schweighöfer, who also set to star in the film, reprising his character, Ludwig Dieter. The actor has been cutting his teeth behind the camera, notably with episodes of the 2017-2018 Amazon Prime cyberthriller series (on which he stars), You Are Wanted, and 2015 comedy movie Manny. Zack Snyder will produce the film on behalf of his company, The Stone Quarry, which will also be represented by producer Deborah Snyder and Wesley Coller. Star/director Schweighöfer will also produce alongside Dan Maag, both of whom represent PANTALEON Films. As Schweighöfer lauds of the gig:
“It has already been a great pleasure to be part of this wonderful ensemble around Zack Synder – a fascinating project. I am happy that it is now being developed on so many different levels.”
Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas will be the title of the accompanying anime series, which is also set as a prequel to Snyder’s initial Netflix franchise offering. The series will be overseen by showrunner Jay Oliva (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and upcoming Netflix animated series Trese), who is also directing two episodes, joined in the latter capacity by Snyder himself, who will direct two episodes of his own. Like the prequel movie, the Stone Quarry trio of Snyder, Snyder and Coller will executive-produce the anime, joined in that capacity by Jay Olivia and Shay Hatten.