Army of the Dead photo

Director Zack Snyder has a presence at San Diego Comic-Con this year, even though the filmmaker himself isn’t attending the convention. Some of his fans have organized an effort to convince Warner Bros. to release the Snyder Cut of Justice League, going as far as to hire a plane to fly over the convention center with that messaging on it yesterday.

Snyder himself isn’t there to see this support in person – instead, he’s off shooting his next movie, a zombie thriller called Army of the Dead. And now he’s released the first look at his cast – including Avengers: Endgame‘s Dave Bautista – all suited up to kick some zombie ass.

Army of the Dead Photo

Army of the Dead first look cast photo

Snyder shared the first look on the social media platform Vero, with the caption “couldn’t make it to #SDCC2019 because we’re busy killing zombies.” Production has been underway for a few days now, and you can see Dave Bautista, Garret Dillahunt, Ella PurnellOmari Hardwick, Raul Castillo, Chris D’Elia, Theo Rossi, and Ana de la Reguera in this photo, seemingly joined by a few cast members who haven’t been officially announced yet. You can learn about the film’s characters right here.

Army of the Dead is a passion project for Snyder, who’s been trying to get it made for more than ten years. The movie is set in Las Vegas after a zombie outbreak has occurred, and it follows “a group of mercenaries [who] take the ultimate gamble, venturing into the quarantine zone to pull off the greatest heist ever attempted.” It’s a totally ridiculous and incredibly fun idea for a movie, and it marks a return to the zombie genre for Snyder, who made his feature directorial debut with the excellent 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead (which had a script by James Gunn).

“There are no handcuffs on me at all with this one,” Snyder previously said about the film, which he’s making for Netflix. “It will be the most kick-ass, self-aware — but not in a wink-to-the-camera way — balls-to-the-wall zombie freakshow that anyone has ever seen. No one’s ever let me completely loose [like this].”

Snyder hasn’t directed a feature since 2017’s Justice League, which Joss Whedon ended up finishing after Snyder left due to a tragedy in his family. Since then, Snyder made a wordless short film called Snow Steam Iron about an abused woman who lashes out against her oppressors. (Beware: that short is NSFW.) Army of the Dead will be his first feature in two years, and Collider even says there are rumors that he’s serving as his own cinematographer on the new film; if true, that should please his most diehard fans, who are always wanting to see Snyder’s artistry in the most unfiltered possible way.

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