2021 is a big year for director Zack Snyder on two fronts. First, more than three years after the theatrical version of Justice League was released, Snyder’s definitive vision for the superhero team-up tale, officially known as Zack Snyder’s Justice League, is heading to HBO Max. Second, Snyder will also be contributing to Netflix with Army of the Dead, and as it turns out, the zombie action movie contains a cool Snyder Cut Easter egg.
Netflix has released the first batch of Army of the Dead images, one of which sees the main characters entering a bank vault. Take a look at the picture below, and pay close attention to what’s in the top left-hand corner.
See those canisters on the shelf? It turns out those are the same four canisters that contain the film reels of the Snyder Cut, which Zack Snyder shared on social media in December 2019. Snyder posted the picture on Vero after getting tired of people saying that a Snyder Cut of Justice League didn’t exist. Five months later, it was announced to the public that Zack Snyder’s Justice would be released on HBO Max.
So for fun, Zack Snyder decided to include those film canisters in Army of the Dead, although whether they’ll be visible in the movie itself remains to be seen. Sadly, because zombies are in the mix, unless the main protagonists manage to close that vault after looting it, I fear those canisters may soon be destroyed. If only those undead creatures were DCEU fans.
Army of the Dead follows a group of mercenaries who plot a heist on a casino in Las Vegas, which has been cordoned off due to the city being infested by zombies that came into existence after a plague was released from the Area 51 military base. The Netflix movie’s cast includes Dave Bautista (who turned down appearing in The Suicide Squad so he could do Army of the Dead), Ella Purnell, Ana de la Reguera, Garret Dillahunt, Raúl Castillo, Omari Hardwick and Tig Notaro, among others.
This marks Zack Snyder second outing in the world of zombies, having previously directed the Dawn of the Dead remake. Here’s how the filmmaker described Army of the Dead to EW:
It is a full-blown, balls-to-the-wall zombie heist movie, so it's genre-on-genre in a great way. So you expect pure zombie mayhem, and you get that, 100 percent. But also you get these really amazing characters on a fantastic journey. It's going to surprise people that there's a lot of warmth and real emotion with these great characters.
As for Zack Snyder’s Justice League, it will initially air on HBO Max as a four-part miniseries. Snyder has described the Snyder Cut as being an “Elseworld” story, and while the majority of the footage is from Justice League’s original principal photography period, he was also able to shoot additional scenes last fall that added approximately four or five minutes to the final product. It remains to be seen if Warner Bros and DC will want to keep the “Snyder-verse” going after the miniseries has aired, although filmmaker Kevin Smith has heard it’s easily doable to keep going with the story.
Army of the Dead is set to premiere on Netflix sometime in 2021, and it will be the first installment of a franchise, as a live-action movie titled Army of the Dead: The Prequel and an anime series called Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas are in development. Zack Snyder’s Justice League will drop on HBO Max in March.