Army of the Dead is a 2021 American zombie heist film directed by Zack Snyder from a screenplay he co-wrote with Shay Hatten and Joby Harold, based on a story he also created. The film features an ensemble cast consisting of Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell, Omari Hardwick, Ana de la Reguera, Theo Rossi, Matthias Schweighöfer, Nora Arnezeder, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tig Notaro, Raúl Castillo, Huma Qureshi, and Garret Dillahunt. It follows a group of mercenaries who plan a Las Vegas casino heist amid a zombie apocalypse.
Snyder conceived the idea for Army of the Dead as a spiritual successor to his 2004 debut film Dawn of the Dead. The project, originally from Warner Bros. Pictures, was announced in 2007 with Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. attached to direct. However, the film spent several years in development hell before Netflix acquired distribution rights in 2019. With a $70–90 million production budget and Snyder also serving as cinematographer, principal photography took place in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Atlantic City, New Jersey, in mid-2019. The film underwent reshoots in September 2020 after several sexual misconduct allegations were made against cast member Chris D’Elia; he was replaced by Notaro using green screens and CGI.
Army of the Dead was released in select theaters in the United States on May 14, 2021, and was digitally released on Netflix on May 21. Collider reported that critics praised the film for its humor but criticized its runtime, and found it would appeal to fans of “both Snyder and ensemble action flicks.” It became one of the most-watched original Netflix films with an estimated 72 million viewers over its first four weeks, while earning $1 million at the box office. Two prequels, a film titled Army of Thieves and an animated series titled Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas, are scheduled to be released on Netflix.