Army of the Dead doesn't pull any punches in its official trailer, which introduces both smart zombies and... a zombie tiger. You read that correctly, but let's say it again because it's such an insane concept. Zombie...tiger. Ok, we're sold!
Representing Zack Snyder's first foray into the flesh-eating genre since 2004's Dawn of the Dead remake, the Netflix Original follows a group of mercenaries attempting to pull off a Vegas casino heist. Did we mention that the famous Strip is now a quarantine zone filled with re-animated corpses? Yeah, the team has less than two days to nab the money (a whopping $200 million in cash) and get out before Vegas is nuked off the face of the Earth.
"There was always a zombie tiger ... the animals were not immume," Snyder said during a special Q&A after Netflix previewed the trailer for fans Tuesday morning. "The only creatures immune from the zombie virus are birds ... It just helps to contain [the virus]. If birds could get the zombie virus, it would be problematic ... But yeah, we really liked the idea of the tiger. I really thought it was cool and he's a bit of a MacGuffin. He tends to show up and change things a little bit. He is slightly sympathetic in a weird way, too. There's moments when he yawns or looks around and you're like, 'Awww, the tiger!' And then he reveals the other side of his face that's ripped off and you're like, 'Oh, right. He's a zombie...'
Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy) stars as Scott Ward, a short order cook who is recruited by shady casino boss Bly Tanaka (Hiroyuki Sanada) to lead the team of ragtag thieves into the undead danger zone. Ward agrees, but isn't really in it for the money — he sees the job as a way to reconnect with his estranged daughter, Kate (Ella Purnell). Kate, on the other hand, sees the mission as a chance to find Geeta (Huma S. Qureshi), a mother who's gone missing inside the city.
The cast also includes: Tig Notaro as Marianne Peters, a cynical helicopter pilot; Ana de la Reguera as Maria Cruz, an ace mechanic and Scott's old friend; Garret Dillahunt as Martin, a casino security expert; Raúl Castillo as Mikey Guzman, a go-for-broke influencer; Matthias Schweighöfer as Dieter, a brilliant German safe-cracker; Omari Hardwick as Vanderohe, a zombie killing machine; Theo Rossi as Burt Cummings, an oily security guard; Samantha Win as Chambers, Scott's "ride-or-die"; Nora Arnezeder as Coyote, a badass warrior; Rich Cetrone; and Michael Cassidy.
"It’s not just your typical zombie film. It’s actually got a lot of heart in it, if that makes any sense," Snyder's longtime sound designer/editor, Scott Hecker, exclusively teased to SYFY WIRE. "There are zombies that are actually pretty smart and have feelings. There’s an estranged father-daughter relationship in the film, which is really emotional. There’s a love interest in the film. And then there’s your typical Zack Snyder, crazy action zombie fun. I’m not just saying it — it is really a fun, good movie."
"We have two categories of zombies in the movie," Snyder, who co-wrote the film with Joby Harold and Shay Hatten, added during the trailer Q&A. "Alphas and then normal shamblers. If you've seen a zombie movie, a normal shambler is a normal zombie that moves slowly. And then our Alphas are an evolved version of zombies' zombies that have taken another step and they're fast. We kind of treat almost like wolves. They're sentient, they fight in packs, and they have a pack mentality."
Feast your eyes on the neon-lit poster below:
Army of the Dead will play in select theaters Friday, May 14 before hitting Netflix the following week on May 21. A prequel film (officially titled Army of Thieves, according to Snyder himself) about Dieter's character, and anime series, Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas (a prequel set at the apex of the zombie outbreak), are also coming down the pipeline.