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SYFY WIRE Army of the Dead

Army of the Dead’s first photo introduces Dave Bautista and his badass band of zombie hunters

By Joseph Baxter

Army of the Dead is preparing to make an impact for its eventual arrival on Netflix, bringing plenty to the table. Firstly, the streaming giant’s original film will mark Justice League director Zack Snyder’s return to the genre that first brought him to prominence with his masterfully frightening 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead. Secondly, it will star Guardians of the Galaxy's Dave Bautista, who leads a band of zombie-killing "a-holes" that make his Marvel movie team look like intergalactic Meals on Wheels deliverers. Now the first photo from the film has arrived!

Bautista decided to use the occasion of this weekend's San Diego Comic-Con — at which the in-production Army of the Dead has no formal presence — to unveil the very first image from the zombie film project. The film, which takes place in a post-apocalyptic Las Vegas overrun by zombies, is currently shooting in Albuquerque, New Mexico. As you can see in the tweeted image below, Bautista is joined by the film’s cast of heavily armed zombie killers, consisting of names such as Raül Castillo, Chris D’Elia, Nora Arnezeder, Ana de la Reguera, Ella Purnell, Omari Hardwick, Theo Rossi, and Garret Dillahunt.

This is the first bit of official ephemera from the film project, which had languished unproduced in Warner Bros. purgatory until its recent rescue by way of Netflix’s significant coffers. Snyder is directing the film off a script by Joby Harold and Shay Hatten.

Interestingly, Snyder had intended to follow up 2004’s Dawn of the Dead with a direct sequel, but, after achieving mainstream box-office Spartan success with 2006’s 300, he subsequently landed what was, on paper, the dream job of directing the 2009 film adaptation of Alan Moore's legendary comic series Watchmen, leaving the Dead universe behind as more "of the Dead” film follow-ups manifested.

Moreover, the gig marks not only Snyder’s return to the zombie genre, but his return to filmmaking overall, after his last directorial turn, 2017’s Justice League, ended on a tragic note following the suicide of his daughter, Autumn, resulting in Joss Whedon filling in as pinch director. Consequently, Army of the Dead also represents a catharsis for Snyder on a very personal level.

Army of the Dead doesn’t have a release date yet, but it is most definitely headed to Netflix, presumably with big personalities with big guns, decimating big herds of the undead in blood-splattering slow motion, with wantonly extreme ultraviolent prejudice. Or at least that's a safe bet, judging by the film's first photo.