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Years before he was making massive superhero tentpoles, Zack Snyder broke into the film industry with Dawn of the Dead. That 2004 remake of the George Romero masterpiece had no right to be as good as it was – bloody, clever, and audacious, it was a roller coaster of a horror movie that has aged well and remains his best film.

Now, Snyder is returning to the genre with Army of the Dead, a high-concept action/horror movie that sounds like a blast. And like so many filmmakers these days, he’s making the project for Netflix.

The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop on Army of the Dead and this thing sounds wild:

The adventure is set amid a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas, during which a man assembles a group of mercenaries to take the ultimate gamble, venturing into the quarantined zone to pull off the greatest heist ever attempted.

So…a heist movie set in Las Vegas while the entire city is overrun with zombies? Can I watch this right now? While Snyder is credited with coming up with the story, the script is by Joby Harold and I hope the final product takes full advantage of that premise. We do know one thing: Snyder has been cooking this one for a long time. We first reported about this movie back in 2008, after the release of 300 but before Watchmen hit theaters.

Interestingly, this film was set up at Warner Bros., but Netflix bought the project from the studio. On one level, this isn’t surprising – there’s apparently little love lost between Snyder and WB following his stint at the helm of their DC movie universe. However, this means Warner Bros. is following Paramount in selling projects to the massive streaming service, a trend will probably continue to grow more common in the coming months and years.

There’s even a tinge of shade thrown at Warner Bros. in Snyder’s enthusiastic comments about the film, where he makes it sound like he has creative freedom for the first time in ages:

“There are no handcuffs on me at all with this one. […] 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].”

I’ve been critical of Snyder’s work in recent years and still think he was the wrong fit to take on heroes like Batman and Superman. But I think he’s an extremely talented filmmaker and he can excel when he’s paired with the right material and given the right restrictions. With its $90 million budget, Army of the Dead will cost less than half of Batman v Superman and Snyder is at his best when he doesn’t have unlimited resources (those superhero budgets enhanced his worst impulses). If this screenplay is half as witty and creative as James Gunn’s Dawn of the Dead script, this could be Snyder’s best movie in a long time.

There is no release date for Army of the Dead, but I imagine we’ll be hearing more soon.

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