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Zack Snyder reveals ‘Planet of the Dead’ Netflix sequel and ‘high odds’ we’ll see Dieter again

Zack Snyder's follow-up to 'Army of the Dead' will be titled 'Planet of the Dead.'

By Josh Weiss
Army of the Dead Still

Zack Snyder's tenure in the DCEU has officially come to a close, but when one cinematic universe closes, another one opens somewhere else in the vast, unending multiverse.

Earlier this year, the writer-director traded capes and cowls for slot machines and flesh-hungry ghouls in Netflix's Army of the Dead (now streaming). The genre-mashing project about a daring casino heist pulled off in a zombie-infested dystopia of Las Vegas represented a major homecoming for Snyder, whose first big screen credit as director was a 2004 remake of George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead.

This return to the filmmaker's horror roots inspired Netflix to go all in on the undead mythos with a pair of spinoff projects: Army of Thieves (a prequel film about Matthias Schweighöfer's German safecracker, Ludwig Dieter) and Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas (an anime prequel series about the mysterious origins of the zombie plague).

Shortly after Army of the Dead opened this past May to favorable reviews (and more than $800,000 from a limited box office run), Netflix also handed down a green-light for a direct sequel. Not much was known about the follow-up, but now that Snyder is back on the press circuit for Army of Thieves — which he produced and helped write — we have a bit more information on that next shambling entry. In keeping with the Romero-inspired titles, the sequel apparently bears the name Planet of the Dead.

"The real adventure would be to see what happened to [Dieter] when that safe door closed," Snyder said during a conversation with Inverse. "Did he get killed by Zeus or not? What happened? We don't see him die on camera, and there's still some time left. I won't tell you what happens in Army of the Dead 2 — aka Planet of the Dead — but let's just say that there’s a chance Dieter survives."

He echoed that sentiment during a conversation with SYFY WIRE over the weekend, stating that there are "high odds" we'll see Schweighöfer's character again. "I wouldn’t bet against that," he told us. "Maybe he would have long hair."

Schweighöfer, who directed Thieves, posited that Dieter might walk out of the irradiated Vegas a very changed man. "Because of the A-bomb, he’d totally morph into this surfer dude," he said, laughing. "Like he has muscles and is really cool and no one can handle him. Like, ‘What kind of a**hole is that?’"

Army of the Dead

As for the zombie infection, it was not fully destroyed in the nuking of Sin City. The chainsaw-toting Vanderhoe (Omari Hardwick) unknowingly carried the pathogen all the way to Mexico City after sustaining a bite from the lead ghoul, Zeus. Speaking with us ahead of Army of the Dead's release, Hardwick floated the idea of Vanderhoe becoming a "a hybrid of sorts" in the sequel.

"I would love to see that, where he is an Alpha in his own right," the actor explained. "Obviously, you know Zeus is now dead, but I think because I knew that Zeus had a certain amount of respect for Vanderhoe, which was reciprocated. I feel like because our characters respected each other so much, who knows? There might have been a secret bite that Zeus knew to give Vanderhoe and it's not the same lethal bite that leaves everybody else zombified. He really respected this guy and so, he decided to leave him with a different type of bite. I would love to see it go to that place, where I could maybe play a zombie one week and then the next week, I don't look like a zombie at all. That would just be crazy to me."

We also made sure to press Snyder for intel on the Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas anime, whose ensemble voice cast includes Christian Slater, Joe Manganiello, Harry Lennix, Anya Chalotra, Ross Butler, Vanessa Hudgens, Jena Malone, Yetide Badaki, Christina Wren, Monica Barbaro, and Nolan North.

"We possibly go to Area 51…maybe not," Snyder teased. "But possibly. And then when we’re there, we learn stuff about what the government’s up to…or we don’t. But there’s a chance we do. And it’s all very secretive and there’s like…inter-dimensional travel. I don’t know. Is that a thing? Who knows?"

Army of Thieves premieres on Netflix this Friday (Oct. 29).