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WIRE Buzz: Netflix expanding Snyder's Army of the Dead; Stellan Skarsgård not done with MCU; more

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Sep 3, 2020, 11:56 AM EDT

Netflix is expanding the universe of Zack Snyder's Army of the Dead before the undead heist film even debuts. The streaming giant confirmed this morning that it has ordered both a prequel film and anime series based on the upcoming release, which wrapped principal photography last October.

"I’m incredibly excited for the opportunity to partner with Netflix again as we expand the Army of the Dead universe with both an international prequel, as well as exploring the visually dynamic world of animation,” Snyder, who is executive producing both projects with his wife, Deborah, said in a statement. “It’s been a great collaboration and we are thrilled that Netflix sees this as big of an IP as we do."

Shay Hatten, who wrote Army's screenplay along with Snyder and Joby Harold, is penning the prequel movie, as well as the animated series. The prequel is set to follow Matthias Schweighöfer's character Ludwig Dieter from the main movie. Schweighöfer is also attached as director.

“It has already been a great pleasure to be part of this wonderful ensemble around Zack Synder — a fascinating project. I am happy that it is now being developed on so many different levels," the actor said in a statement.

Schweighöfer & Snyder Credit: Netflix

The anime, entitled Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas, is slated to center around Scott Ward (a character played by Dave Bautista), who, along with his rescue crew, confronts the mysterious source of the zombie outbreak in Sin City. Snyder is on board to direct two episodes of the show. Jay Oliva (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns) has been tapped as showrunner and will direct two entries as well. 

Set in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse, the genre-mashing Army of the Dead is about a group of thieves who decide to rob a casino while fending off a horde of flesh-eating ghouls. It's basically Ocean's 11 meets World War Z. Ella Purnell, Ana De La Reguera, Theo Rossi, Huma Qureshi, Omari Hardwick, Tig Notaro (replacing Chris D’Elia), Hiroyuki Sanada, Garret Dillahunt, Matthias Schweighöfer, Raúl Castillo, Nora Arnezeder, and Samantha Win co-star.

The movie is set to premiere sometime in 2021, although no fixed premiere date has been set.


While he hasn't played Dr. Erik Selvig for over five years, Stellan Skarsgård may not be finished with the Marvel Cinematic Universe just yet. During a recent chat with Empire for the magazine's October issue, the Swedish native said that he originally had a four-movie deal with Marvel Studios. The first half of his contractual obligations were used for the first two Thor projects, while the latter half were taken up by the first two Avengers films.

"I haven't heard from them," the actor said when asked about his return to the big screen comic book mythos. "But I wouldn't mind ... I remember saying to Kevin Feige, 'Is there really any money in this comic book thing?' He looked at me like I was a f***in idiot. Which I was, of course."

Credit: David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

His character could always re-appear in Taika Waititi's Thor: Love and Thunder, which is going to see Natalie Portman's Jane Foster take up the God of Thunder mantle. Despite a small appearance in Avengers: Endgame, Ms. Foster has been noticeably absent from the MCU as well.

"I think so," Skarsgård said when Empire posited that Selvig could naturally fit into the Ragnarok sequel (set to arrive in theaters February 2022). "Me and Kat Dennings [who played Darcy Lewis], too. We were a good trio."

Skarsgård next appears as the dastardly Baron Harkonnen in Denis Villeneuve's Dune (opening in theaters Friday, Dec. 18). He's also playing a mystery character in the Cassian Andor spinoff series coming to Disney+.


HanWay (The Guest), The Tea Shop (47 Meters Down), and Riverstone Pictures (Wind River) have all teamed up for the rollout of the psychological horror film A Banquet, reports Deadline. The project, which stars Resident Evil alum Sienna Guillory, was shot in London between July and August amid strict coronavirus-related film set protocols.

Written by Justin Bull and helmed by Ruth Paxton (making her directorial debut), the movie follows Holly, a mother who is put to the test when her daughter "experiences a profound enlightenment and insists that her body is no longer her own, but in service to a higher power," writes Deadline.

Get a first look in the tweet below:

"I can still remember the first read of Justin’s script. His nuanced feel for character and wholly original take on the genre blew us away," producer Leonora Darby said in a statement to Deadline. "Attaching Ruth was kismet, her talent is undeniable, and it’s been a pleasure to see her realize her vision. Whilst the circumstances in which we have worked have certainly been challenging, it’s been overwhelming and at times emotional, to witness the degree of tireless passion and dedication displayed by our team in order to bring A Banquet to life."

"We are thrilled to work with the brilliant team of filmmakers and financiers who rolled up their sleeves to make A Banquet this summer," added Gabrielle Stewart of HanWay. "We all knew they had a fantastic film to make and we really look forward to introducing this strong genre project to buyers."

Jessica Alexander (Get Even), Ruby Stokes (Rocks), and Lindsay Duncan (Private Lives) co-star. Mark Lane, James Harris,Nik Bower, and  Laure Vaysse serve as producers. HanWay is handling worldwide distribution and will start courting potential buyers in the fall.


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