Matthias Schweghöffer’s Army Of The Dead Character Originally Had A Very Weird Weapon

Matthias Schweghöffer as Dieter in Army of the Dead

In a zombie horror movie, the right weapon can be the difference between survival and certain death. Zombies are a little bit like vampires and werewolves -- there’s a specific way to kill them, and for the undead, it involves brains. That’s why the mercenaries who go behind enemy lines in Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead bring all sorts of skull-piercing weaponry. We see bullets, chainsaws, and a bat with several spiky nails sticking out of it. But during a recent interview with Army of the Dead co-star Matthias Schweghöffer, the actor told us he originally had a much different weapon that might have made zombie killing that much harder. Watch the clip above.

In Zack Snyder’s new film Army of the Dead, which opened in 600 theaters last week ahead of its upcoming Netflix release, Dave Bautista leads a tough-as-nails team of hired guns into Las Vegas, which has been turned into a self-contained zone of zombie infestation. There was an escape of an undead subject that originated in Area 51, and when the zombies reached Sin City, all hell broke loose.

Why on Earth would Bautista’s team want to go in there? Well, they are hired by a casino owner (Hiroyuki Sanada) to infiltrate his deserted casino and retrieve millions of dollars from the basement vault before the federal government levels the city with a nuclear bomb. That lends a nailbiting ticking-clock element to Snyder’s already tense horror thriller, and we begin taking bets about who from the cast, if anyone, will survive to the final scene.

Matthias Schweghöffer is the one seen holding the baseball bat with nails in it. His character, Dieter, isn’t exactly a badass fighter like the rest of the members of the team. Dave Bautista’s team leader, Scott Ward, brings Schweghöffer along to crack the safe that they’re going to encounter in the casino. And when I brought up the notion of weapon selection, and how it can tell us a lot about a character, the German actor and film director told us the unusual place where his preparation for Dieter began. He said:

He’s from Germany, and he started to train with a weapon. It was a fork and a spoon. So that was the first idea of having these weapons prepped for my character. (Laughing) Can you imagine, with a spoon? But then I was so lucky when I read that he has a bat. This bat with nails. Thank God.

Is Dieter effective with the bat with nails? That’s for you to find out now that Army of the Dead is in theaters, and on its way to Netflix. The movie banked $780,000 over its opening weekend frame, which was below industry estimates but still more than enough to set Netflix’s record for an opening weekend (topping Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, the previous leader). Count on plenty more subscribers making the trip to Zombie Las Vegas once Army of the Dead hits the streaming service on Friday, May 21.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.