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It’s been a hell of a long time since we’ve heard any noise about Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead. The concept for the film originated from Snyder before he even got started with Watchmen, but the film has just kind of fallen into the shadows while he directs other, more high profile projects like Man of Steel. Set to direct AotD is The Thing prequel helmer Matthijs van Heijningen Jr., who is no longer a stranger to directing the kind of hyper-violent horror film that AotD will most certainly be.
io9 caught up with Heijningen to talk about The Thing, now just one week away from release, but they were able to not only remember that the long dormant Army of the Dead was still on the table, but squeeze a few interesting details about the film out of him.
First, the story will center around a father who is trying to free his daughter from a quarantined Las Vegas. An outbreak of whatever zombie virus drives the story infects the city and the government builds a wall around it to contain the spread. Heijningen reveals that these zombies will be the more modern, fast-paced zombies rather than the Romero classics. He also mentions that since Snyder is still on the docket to produce, the studio is still very interested in seeing this made.
The real interesting detail though is just how it is the zombies spread their virus to new victims, which is better explained by Heijningen himself.
There's an extra dimension to this zombie film, because they…. they…. I'm still wondering if I should tell this…. the male zombies rape human females. Yes. And they have human hybrid zombie offsprings. It's a new take on the zombie genre, which is crazy.
This will undoubtedly make for some disgusting-ass scenes, though in order to get this thing into theaters with an R-rating what’s shown of these scenes, especially if it happens more than once on camera, will need to be creatively shot so as to reduce the sheer brutality of it. I’m the type of person who was upset that in Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead remake the zombie baby didn’t eat its way out of the mother’s belly, and now it looks like my wish might be granted.
None of this mean Army of the Dead is reaching production--it’s been tabled for four years now--but knowing there is still studio interest and Snyder and Heijningen are still attached is great news for fans who are itching to see Snyder return to the genre. More on AotD as it comes to us.