If you are a fan of Army of the Dead and left writer, director, and cinematographer Zack Snyder’s ambitious zombie movie wanting more and, especially, wanting to know and understand more about this world, I can relate. Luckily, the 2021 Netflix original action-horror epic is expanding its universe with new, tangentially connected spin-offs, including the upcoming animated series Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas and the feature-length prequel, Army of Thieves, being the next official chapter.
This time, the spotlight is on the scene-stealing German actor Matthias Schweighöfer reprising his role as Ludwig Dieter, who is enlisted to lend his masterful talent in safecracking to an international bank heist prior to when Dave Bautista’s Scott Ward and company recruit him for the Las Vegas job of Army of the Dead. To learn more about who joins Dieter on this new adventure and the actors who play them, take a look at the following breakdown of the Army of Thieves cast, starting with the film’s main star and director.
Matthias Schweighöfer (Ludwig Dieter)
Army of the Dead might have been many Americans’ first introduction to Matthias Schweighöfer, but the German actor has been a major onscreen presence in his homeland since 1994 (when he was just 13), and also made his English language debut with the 2002 horror movie FearDotCom. He made his directorial debut (with frequent collaborator Torsten Künstler) with 2011’s What a Man - the first of several romantic-comedy movies he wrote, directed, and starred in before helming, leading, and even composing the them for action thriller You Are Wanted, which is also the first Amazon Prime original TV series made entirely in Germany.
Army of Thieves is Schweighöfer’s first-time combining his rom-com style with his action-thriller style, and we shall if he experiments with that mix again after appearing in the 2022 biographical drama The Swimmers.
Nathalie Emmanuel (Gwendoline)
Recruiting Dieter into the titular Army of Thieves is Gwendoline, who is only the latest of many action roles (and even a few action-comedy roles) for British actress Nathalie Emmanuel, who first debuted in 2007 on the long-running UK drama Hollyoaks before joining the Game of Thrones cast as Missandei in 2013. She also has a recurring role in two big screen franchises (in the Fast and Furious movies as Ramsey, and the Maze Runner series as Harriet), starred on two dramatically different limited series events based on classic films in 2019 (Netflix’s The Dark Cyrstal: Age of Resistance as the voice of Deet, and Hulu’s Four Weddings and a Funeral as Maya), and earned an Emmy nomination for the Quibi original series Die Hart in 2021.
Her upcoming holiday fantasy movie Last Train to Christmas, and historical WWII miniseries, Unsinkable, are both in post-production, while horror film The Bride is currently in its earlier stages.
Ruby O. Fee (Korina)
As a highly skilled computer hacker named Korina, we have Ruby O. Fee, who might just be the most culturally diverse individual on the already culturally diverse Army of Thieves cast, having been born in Costa Rica and raised for most of her life in Brazil by her German mother before moving to Germany in 2008 when she was 12.
She actually debuted in the 2010 English-language, but German-produced, sci-fi drama, Womb, as a younger version of Eva Green’s character, yet would not star in another English-language film until the Netflix original action thriller Polar, starring Mads Mikkelsen and Vanessa Hudgens, in 2019. Perhaps starring in Army of Thieves (her third English-language film) might lead to more popularity in the United States for the the 25-year-old actress.
Guz Khan (Rolph)
Assigned to be the team’s getaway driver is a man named Rolph, played by Ghulam “Guz” Khan - a British comedian of Pakistani Punjabi Muslim descent, who actually co-starred alongside his Army of Thieves cast member Nathalie Emmanuel in the Four Weddings and a Funeral cast for Hulu in 2019. That same year he appeared alongside Golden Globe-winning star and co-creator Idris Elba on the Netflix original limited series Turn Up Charlie (a comedy Elba based on his real-life as a professional DJ), and the bizarre, 8-episode dystopian thriller Curfew.
Currently, Khan is working on Season 4 of his sitcom Man Like Mobeen (which he also co-writes and produces), that is currently available to stream on Netflix, and is filming the humorous historical, Our Flag Means Death, which has Taika Waititi wearing multiple hats.
Stuart Martin (Brad Cage)
Described in the Army of Thieves trailer as a “real-life action hero” is Brad Cage, who is played by Scottish, theatre-trained actor Stuart Martin, who made one of his earliest high-profile appearances alongside Russell Crowe in director Ridley Scott’s interpretation of Robin Hood back in 2010. Speaking of archery, he has also lent his voice to several installments of the popular Assassin’s Creed video game series (as well as Far Cry 3), guest-starred on an episode of Game of Thrones, starred opposite Michael Fassbender in the 2015 drama Slow West, and most recently starred as the male lead on the historical crime procedural Miss Scarlet and the Duke in 2020.
He has one more film set to come out in 2021 (a fantasy thriller called Dampyr), and is currently filming a fantasy series called Twilight of the Gods, on which he plays Leif.
Jonathan Cohen (Delacroix)
Making his English-language debut as a character named Delacroix in the Army of Thieves cast is Jonathan Cohen, a well-known writer, director, producer, and actor in his home country of France. However, this action-comedy is not his first time being a part of the Netflix machine, since Family Business - the darkly comic series he both writes for and stars on - exclusively premiered on the streaming platform in 2019.
Soon, the co-writer, co-director, co-producer, and star of La Flame (which was adapted from American dating reality show parody Burning Love) will share the screen with fellow French actors Vincent Cassel (from Ocean’s Twelve and Ocean’s Thirteen), and Academy Award winner Marion Cotillard of Inception fame, in the French family film Asterix & Obelix: The Middle Kingdom, which is now in post-production.
Noémie Nakai (Beatrix)
Originating from Tokyo, Japan, is actress Noémie Nakai, who appears in the Army of Thieves cast as a woman named Beatrix, in what is not her English-language debut, but her first project of that kind in a while, having appeared opposite Kristen Stewart and Nicolas Hoult in Equals - a dystopian romance released in 2015.
In 2016, she would star in a live-action limited series and feature film based on the popular manga and anime Death Note (not to be confused with Adam Wingard’s feature-length Netflix original update). At the moment, Nakai’s upcoming HBO Max original series Tokyo Vice (which also stars Ansel Elgort and Ken Watanabe) is now in post-production.
Christian Steyer (Hans Wagner)
Also appearing in the Army of Thieves cast is Christian Steyer - another German actor who plays Hans Wagner in the the Netflix film, which is actually not his first Netflix production. The 74-year-old veteran actor (who debuted in the 1972 film It Is an Old Story, and will next appear in the German film, Subtext) is probably best known to American audiences as H.G. Tannhaus on Dark - a spookily inventive time travel story that is also the digital platform’s very first original series produced in Germany.
Steyer has actually been writing the music for films and TV shows almost as long as he has been acting, having first composed the 1974 movie Der Untergang der Emma and, most recently, 2014’s Holtz - Gespräche um nichts - a documentary about the acclaimed European actor, Jürgen Holtz.
Barbara Meier (Lucy)
Playing Lucy in the Army of Thieves cast is Barbara Meier - yet another actor from the ensemble originating from Germany, who once did a McDonald’s commercial with Heidi Klum a year after winning the second season of Germany’s Next Top Model in 2006.
Her official acting debut, however, was a made-for-TV supernatural mystery thriller called Schreie der Vergessenen in 2011, before branching out into English-language productions with the 2018 drama The Aspern Papers and, later, the romantic fantasy Endless (starring X-Men movies star Alexandra Shipp and Nicolas Hammond from 2017’s It cast), in 2020. Meier now has three German films in the works that are currently in post-production.
You know, speaking as a member of the somewhat marginalized audience who really did think that Army of the Dead was one of the best movies on Netflix as of late, I was very amused to learn that future subsequent installments were on the way. However, to be perfectly honest, out of the original Army of the Dead cast, Dieter Ludwig is probably the last character I actually would have expected to see get his own movie.
However, the talent involved in the rest of the Army of Thieves cast shows he will be in good company, and Matthias Schweighöfer’s own previous accomplishments from both behind and in front of the camera seem like a promising combination. See how many of them survive what happens this time by streaming the humorous heist thriller on Netflix (available as of Friday, October 29, 2021).
Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in just about any article related to Batman.