The world of Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead is about to expand with a brand new prequel film that shifts focus away from undead monsters to craft a more cut-and-dried heist story.
Indeed, when the Army of Thieves trailer dropped last month, many viewers were taken aback by just how few zombies seem to be in the film, but executive producer Snyder came out to defend the change in tone.
In an interview with RadioTimes.com and other press, the Justice League filmmaker explained that he doesn’t want his latest franchise venture to feel forced into doing just one thing.
“I thought it was natural to the story and natural to Matthias’s character and frankly to our preconceived notions about it being more of a genre-busting franchise than necessarily a zombie franchise right out of the box,” he said.
“I love genre and so deconstructing genre is one of my favourite things to do. I felt like this kind of heist romantic comedy was another amazing trope-filled universe that we just wanted to go and explore.”
German actor Matthias Schweighöfer is the sole returning member of the Army of the Dead cast, reprising his fan-favourite role as eccentric safecracker Ludwig Dieter to depict the mission that made him a legend.
He’ll be joined by a supporting cast that includes Fast & Furious star Nathalie Emmanuel and Taskmaster contestant Guz Khan, in an action-packed thriller that swaps zombie-ridden Las Vegas for less apocalyptic locales in central Europe.
Read on for all the essential details on Netflix‘s Army of Thieves, including release date, cast, trailer and its connection with Army of the Dead explained in full.
Army of Thieves release date
CONFIRMED: Army of Thieves will be available to stream on Netflix from Friday 29th October 2021, making it a perfect choice for your Halloween viewing party this year.
Netflix planned two Army of the Dead spin-offs based on their confidence in the original film, with Army of Thieves being first up, before animated prequel Lost Vegas arrives in 2022.
Unlike the first film, Army of Thieves was filmed during the pandemic, with executive producer Zack Snyder announcing that production had wrapped with a tweet in December 2020.
That’s a wrap on Army of the Dead: The Prequel. Thanks to all the cast & crew and Netflix #armyofthedead #aotd pic.twitter.com/GvwAKVyjse
— Zack Snyder (@ZackSnyder) December 22, 2020
Army of Thieves cast
Army of the Dead star Matthias Schweighöfer returns as eccentric safecracker Ludwig Dieter in this follow-up, a role he debuted in Snyder’s action-packed flick earlier this year.
Here he leads another ensemble heist crew alongside recruiter Gwendoline, played by Nathalie Emmanuel, who started out in Hollyoaks before becoming a genre star with roles in Game of Thrones, The Maze Runner and Fast & Furious.
Army of Thieves has enlisted another top British talent in two-time BAFTA nominee Guz Khan (Man Like Mobeen), who will be playing getaway driver Rolph, with Stuart Martin (Miss Scarlet and the Duke) also set to appear.
Much like the zombie film that preceded it, Army of Thieves has an international cast that includes Costa Rica’s Ruby O Fee, France’s Jonathan Cohen, Austria’s Peter Simonischek and French-Japanese director Noemie Nakai.
Is Army of Thieves a sequel to Army of the Dead?
Army of Thieves is a prequel to Army of the Dead, set several years before the events of Zack Snyder’s zombie blockbuster, in the early days of America’s war against the undead.
Fans of Army of the Dead should expect a markedly different type of film in Army of Thieves, with Snyder promising “more safes and less zombies” in the spin-off.
Dieter is back, with more safes and less zombies. 💰🔐 Don’t miss the Army of Thieves @Comic_Con panel this Sunday, July 25 at 2 pm PT. #ComicConAtHome #ArmyofThieves pic.twitter.com/IM2m9j3d4n
— Zack Snyder (@ZackSnyder) July 20, 2021
In addition to taking the lead role, Matthias Schweighöfer also directed the film from a script by Snyder and his Army of the Dead co-writer Shay Hatten.
“I was super pleased because it tells the story of Ludwig Dieter before the Army of the Dead film,” Schweighöfer tells RadioTimes.com and other press. “So it will be a huge heist movie with huge, huge, huge, heist stuff you’ve never seen before.”
He continued: “It’s a big blockbuster and it’s a lot of fun. That’s what I can say. And it will be interesting how that connects to the zombie world of Zack, but we are all very excited and it’s just the start of a big universe.”
Aside from Schweighöfer, no other Army of the Dead stars are expected to appear in Army of Thieves, but we can’t entirely rule out a surprise post-credits sting.
Army of Thieves trailer
In July 2021, Netflix revealed the first teaser trailer for Army of Thieves, reintroducing us to the mischievous Ludwig Dieter as he crosses paths with an all-new crew of characters. Watch below.
A full-length trailer came about two months later in September, giving us a better idea of the Army of Thieves plot, but surprising viewers with its distinct lack of zombies. Watch below.
Army of Thieves is coming soon to Netflix. While you’re waiting, check out more of our Film coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight.