Zack Snyder is getting back to filmmaking, and he’s getting back to zombies while he’s at it. The filmmaker stepped away from 2017’s JUSTICE LEAGUE following a family tragedy, but he’s ready to make his return and like so many top filmmakers these days, he’s taking the project to Netflix. Snyder has signed on to direct ARMY OF THE DEAD for the streaming service, which he will also produce with his partner and wife Deborah Snyder through their newly rebranded production company, Stone Quarry.
Based on a story by Snyder, the script for ARMY OF THE DEAD comes from KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD screenwriter Joby Harold (who also penned the script for Warner’s upcoming FLASHPOINT movie). Per The Hollywood Reporter, “The adventure 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.” Stone Quarry’s Wesley Coller is also producing.
“There are no handcuffs on me at all with this one,” Snyder told THR. “I love to honor canon and the works of art,” he continued, “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].”
That sounds about right for Netflix, a distributor well-known for giving their filmmakers creative control. The streaming outlet is taking over the project from Warner Bros., where it was set up in 2007, and reportedly sought it out from the studio. They’re also ready to throw a pretty penny on it — the film is set to start shooting this summer and will have a budget that could reach the $90 million range.
Snyder’s no stranger to big budgets, and he’s no stranger to zombies either. The filmmaker made his feature debut with 2004’s DAWN OF THE DEAD remake (from a script by James Gunn, no less); a smart thrilling adaptation of George Romero‘s iconic original that instantly put Snyder on the map. I’m very curious to see what he does with a return the genre, especially with a big Netflix budget behind him.