CinePOP brings a special article with 20 curiosities on ‘Army of the Dead – Invasion in Las Vegas’, Zack Snyder’s overproduction for Netflix.
Netflix has taken over the Warner Bros. project. Filming began in the summer of 2019 with a budget of up to $ 90 million. Chris D’Elia had previously filmed his scenes in 2020 when stories emerged about him sexually harassing women. Zack Snyder has hired comedian Tig Notaro to replace D’Elia. Notaro was filmed alone and inserted into the film in all of the scenes where D’Elia was through the green screen and other special effects. This film has been going through hell of development since 2004, when Snyder turned down the opportunity to direct it to pursue other projects. In 2010 it was announced that the film would finally pass with Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. in the direction and a release date of fall 2013, but this version was not approved. The film is being shot at the former Atlantic Club Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, which has been closed since January 13, 2014. The casino was also known as the Golden Nugget, Hilton and Bally’s Grand. On tour in late summer 2019, dozens of air conditioning units were brought to the hotel. Zack Snyder’s second apocalyptic zombie horror project since Madrugada dos Mortos (2004), his directorial debut. Zack Snyder made a crude visual joke from the movie that showed a stripper with a huge penis that had a bite, because he thought he had gone too far. This is Zack Snyder’s first digital film. All of his previous films were shot in 35mm or 65mm. He used digital cameras for the Knightmare epilogue in the “ Justice League of Zack Snyder, ” but that was due to concerns about COVID-19. James Gunn had written Zack Snyder’s previous zombie film Dawn of the Dead (2004), but gave up writing that film due to his focus on the Suicide Squad (2021). A live tiger, carefully decorated with makeup, was used for a few photos of the zombie tiger with a trainer present at all times. As for the computer-generated model, the benchmark was one of Carole Baskin’s tigers from Netflix’s iconic documentary series Tiger King (2020). Right next to the entrance to the safe is what appears to be five boxes containing rolls of film on a metal shelf. This is Snyder’s version of the Justice League, as Zack Snyder originally shared with Vero in December 2019. Unlike Madrugada dos Mortos (2004), this film is not based on any work by George A. Romero, but some items will be removed from your movies. This movie is not a continuation of Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead (2004), which was written by James Gunn. In Madrugada dos Mortos, the epidemic was global. In Army of the Dead, it is contained in Vegas. Snyder’s second film based on an original concept of himself, after Sucker Punch (2011). Dave Batista declined an offer to appear in The Suicide Squad in order to work on this film. Zack Snyder’s second film for a streaming service, following Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021). Zack Snyder also serves as the cinematographer and cameraman in this film. Garret Dillahunt is no stranger to the zombie genre, having been the main star of “Fear the Walking Dead” for several years. At 148 minutes, it’s the second-longest zombie movie in history, behind George A Romero’s “Dawn of the Dead” (1978), which reaches 156 minutes. “Army of the Dead” is also the third longest-running mainstream horror release in history, behind “It: Chapter 2” (169 minutes) and “Doctor Sleep” (180 minutes).
Read our review:
Criticism | Army of the Dead is BLOODY, full of slow motion and everything you’d expect from Zack Snyder
During a selective press conference, of which CinePOP was one of the guests, the filmmaker revealed details about the horrific creatures, underscoring his desire to go further in the genre, turning zombies into monsters much more evolved than usually:
“I think zombies have survived in theaters and in POP culture because they’re monsters derived from ourselves, so that’s still a great way to think about them. But in this movie, I not only felt like I wanted to honor the zombie classics, but also to explore what else they had to offer. And one of the things I thought about the most while creating this scenario was the idea that much more than an evolution, they would even represent our replacement ”.
Snyder took it a step further, reflecting on the unique characteristics of “Army of the Dead” zombies. For the filmmaker, the idea was to make them independent and self-sufficient, so that the “threat” factor could be explored from a somewhat deeper perspective:
“The idea is that they’re not just these zombies from another level, who can think, roam and attack animals. But that they are less evil, do not destroy the planet and do not kill themselves. They are not very aggressive. We made mistakes with them and they return the favor, but this version of humanity or whatever represents that they can survive without us, that they will be fine without us. And I thought that would be a fun and scary way to think of them as our surrogates ”.
Throughout the press conference, star Dave Bautista also commented on the action thriller, revealing that he almost rejected the proposal:
“I was able to make several films with a lot of action scenes, but I had never made one where I could show my versatility as an actor. When the project came to me I was not very interested as it was described to me as a flying zombie function and I was not looking for a job of this size, I wanted to prove myself as an actor . But the proposal came back to me when Zack said he wanted me to play Scott. So I read the script and it was completely different from what I thought ”.
The actor, who is also part of the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ franchise, reflected again on his character’s journey, punctuating the symbolism behind his motivations. According to him, Scott is living a trajectory of family redemption and reconnection with his daughter:
“The film would really give me the opportunity to show different sides of my performance, besides this guy who is a tough guy in action scenes. It’s the story of a father who wants to redeem himself with his daughter and that’s what convinced me. It was an opportunity for me to show more of my performance. He’s not just an action guy. He is able to be, but he is also someone who wants to redeem himself. It is a story of redemption ”.
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