Seeing Zack Snyder return to the world of zombies in Army of the Dead is an experience that, for certain fans of his, felt like a homecoming. Making his directorial debut with 2004’s remake of Dawn of the Dead, Snyder’s first impression upon the world was through another tale of undead mayhem that folks couldn’t get enough of. Now, thanks to an easter egg spotted in his Netflix original, it looks like Army and Dawn have been confirmed to share the same fictional universe.
An eagle eyed fan on Twitter noticed the key evidence in Army of the Dead in a moment so quick, you may have missed it. And no, we’re not talking about those UFOs at the very beginning, but rather a news story that popped up in the news feed on the phone of Tig Notaro’s character. Shown below, the introduction of Marianne Peters includes this special detail:
Well, I don’t know about you, but a headline that promises, “New Information Released About '04 Zombie Outbreak In Milwaukee" is absolutely intriguing. Seeing as we never really knew what started Dawn of the Dead’s zombie apocalypse, it’s nice to know that someone has all the answers. Though unfortunately, those vital details aren’t divulged in Army of the Dead, which makes the discussion in the opening of the film even more important.
If Army of the Dead and Dawn of the Dead are in the same universe, one could assume that zombie specimen Zeus, fresh off of his engagement wrecking up an entire U.S. Army convoy in Nevada, could be the bridge between both movies. The implication is that somehow, the zombie threat from Dawn of the Dead was quelled, with Army of the Dead’s king being an evolved version of those original shamblers. How, or why, Zeus evolved is another story, and one that can hopefully be explained in future installments.
Both prequel and sequel buzz for Army of the Dead is hanging in the air right now, which is perfect in light of this supposed confirmation that Dawn of the Dead may be a prequel itself. Maybe this connected world means that James Gunn could be invited back to work with Zack Snyder and deliver another zombie opus that’ll win over the masses. Or, at the very least, maybe we’ll learn what happened to the survivors of the Crossroads Mall, as the last known footage didn’t look too pleasant.
Should you be in full-on clue-hunting mode right now, Army of the Dead is still available in some theaters, with Netflix also housing the film in its streaming library. And if knowing that Dave Bautista and Ving Rhames could potentially make a zombie-killing buddy comedy together isn't enough to get you to take another look, I don't know what to say. Except that maybe it's time to do a double feature of Dawn of the Dead alongside its new potentially confirmed sibling.