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Trivia / Army of the Dead

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  • Actor-Inspired Element: Matthias Schweighöfer shaped a lot of Dieter's persona. Not so surprising since he also directed, produced and starred in the character's own prequel film.
  • Awesome, Dear Boy: Dave Bautista declined James Gunn's offer to appear in The Suicide Squad just so he could have an opportunity to work with Zack Snyder.
  • California Doubling: The film is set in Las Vegas, but was filmed in Atlantic City and in New Mexico.
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  • Copiously Credited Creator: Zack Snyder produced, wrote, directed, handled the camera work and did the cinematography (while he usually hires Larry Fong for that last job, he preferred doing it on his own this time, though he still gave Fong a cameo, sort of, on a Stage Magician billboard). He didn't have this many credits on his previous works.
  • Creator's Oddball:
    • It is the first feature film that Snyder has ever shot entirely digitally (the only things he shot digitally before this movie was his short Snow Steam Iron, and parts of the epilogue for his cut of Justice League after Army of the Dead completed principal photography). It is also perhaps the one in his filmography with the least amount of Color Wash outside of Dawn of the Dead.
    • For Netflix. The streamer had long been barred from screening any of its films in mainstream cinema chains in the United States and many other countries, notably attempting and failing to work out arrangements for Roma, The Irishman and Marriage Story. In the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic, however, the #3 U.S. chain Cinemark warmed relations with Netflix, allowing for titles like Mank, The Trial of the Chicago 7, The Midnight Sky and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom to play on their screens. Army of the Dead, however, marks the first time a Netflix film has received a full-on nationwide release in a major cinema chain, despite premiering on the streaming service just one week later. While it only earned about an estimated $1 million, the release was apparently considered enough of a success that Netflix would launch another 14 movies in theaters between September and December 2021.
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  • Creator Recovery: After leaving the Troubled Production of Justice League following the death of his daughter, Snyder considered the making of Army of the Dead to be a palate cleanser and a very fun experience free of the Executive Meddling he had to put up with when making the aforementioned DC Extended Universe film. The release of Snyder's version of Justice League a few months before Army of the Dead also played a major part in said recovery.
  • The Danza: Michael Cassidy as Sergeant Cassidy.
  • Divorced Installment: Back in 2008, the film was conceived as a sequel to Snyder's own Dawn of the Dead. It has been confirmed not to be the case in the end.
  • Dueling Works:
    • With the 2020 Train to Busan sequel Peninsula, another film about an attempted money heist during a Zombie Apocalypse. It was released theatrically just under a year before Army of the Dead and made its streaming debut (on Shudder) less than two months before this film. Army of the Dead performed better with critics, while audience-wise it's an even match. Army, however, met Netflix's hopes of high viewership, while Peninsula underperformed compared to Train to Busan (though it was still profitable).
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    • With The Suicide Squad, another Suicide Mission action film releasing on streaming services in 2021 (on HBO Max for The Suicide Squad in addition to theaters) by a director with a cult following. Both Snyder and James Gunn worked on 2004's Dawn of the Dead, and Dave Bautista declined appearing in The Suicide Squad to be in Army of the Dead. Both films ended up well received, with The Suicide Squad clearly edging out among critics.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Omari Hardwick packed on fifteen pounds of muscle for his role as Vanderohe. In the script, his look is described as - "Strong as a beast, with muscles bulging out of his tight T-shirt, this guy is a 'badass'." In the film, Hardwick appears in a tight sleeveless t-shirt, showing off broad, muscular shoulders and big, bulging biceps in every shot even appears shirtless in a scene to show off his six pack abs. Hardwick recounted the process to achieve his look:
    I gained weight for this, obviously. When I got this, you're looking to the right and you see Dave Bautista who lives at 250, 255, 6'4". I didn't want Theo Rossi, and obviously, Garret Dillahunt, who's a pretty big guy as well, or even Matthias Schweighöfer who was very roddy and definitely in shape, I didn't want those guys to feel so odd man out. So, within four weeks, I went from 180 to 195. I wanted to be the bridge between Dave's presence and physical stature, and these guys on the left. Obviously included in that, these women are in incredible shape and we had to deal with 105 degree weather. But the bulk that you see is not the typical James 'Ghost' St. Patrick of 180 pounds . It definitely was a new guy called Vanderohe who almost was 200 pounds.
  • Irony as She Is Cast: Samantha Win, a highly trained martial artist and stuntwoman, plays a character who has never killed a zombie before. Though it's a bit downplayed as Chambers does take to doing so very easily.
  • Money, Dear Boy: The main reason Tig Notaro accepted to work on the film, but she enjoyed it and loved her role in the end.
  • Multiple Languages, Same Voice Actor:
    • Ana de la Reguera and Raúl Castillo dubbed themselves as Maria Cruz and Mikey Guzman respectively in the Latin American Spanish dub.
    • Nora Arnezeder dubbed herself in French.
    • Matthias Schweighöfer dubbed himself in German.
    • Likewise, Hiroyuki Sanada dubbed himself as Bly Tanaka in the Japanese dub.
  • The Other Marty: Tig Notaro's character replaced that of Chris D'Elia, for reasons explained in Role-Ending Misdemeanor below.
  • Production Posse:
  • Role-Ending Misdemeanor: Chris D'Elia originally had a role in the film, but he was replaced by Tig Notaro in June 2020 due to sexual misconduct allegations, specifically accusations of grooming and soliciting nude photos from underage girls. Some scenes he appeared in had to be reshot, while in others he was digitally removed and replaced by Notaro. Notaro is often seen in close-up shots for this reason, as she was filmed alone with green screens except for one reshoot that also involved Ana de la Reguera. Zack and Deborah Snyder discussed the complications of inserting Notaro into the film in this article for Vanity Fair.
  • Saved from Development Hell: The project started way back in 2007. Warner Bros. did nothing with the script for years and eventually sold it to Netflix, which quickly greenlit its production.
  • Similarly Named Works:
    • There's an obscure 2008 film titled Army of the Dead.
    • The French title of Snyder's own Dawn of the Dead, L'Armée des morts, literally translates as "Army of the Dead". Which is why the 2021 film's title has been left untranslated there (aside from the fact that many American movie titles are not translated there anymore since about The '90s).
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Dutch director and screenwriter Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. (best known for the The Thing prequel) was set to helm the film back in 2007-2008, and he had ideas such as male zombies spreading the zombie plague by... raping living human females. None of these ideas were retained when Snyder came onboard, the script was heavily rewritten.
    • James Gunn had written Dawn of the Dead (2004) but passed on writing this film due to his focusing on The Suicide Squad.

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