Army of the Dead's Deborah and Zack Snyder on Creating a New Universe With Army of Thieves

The Army of the Dead universe will expand later this year when the live-action prequel film Army of Thieves arrives on Netflix. The film, which debuted its first trailer during San Diego Comic-Con @ Home 2021 on Sunday, will follow Army of the Dead character Ludwig Dieter (played by Matthias Schweighöefer who is also directing Army of Thieves) six years before the events of that film and explore the early days of his safecracking during the early stages of the zombie pandemic. It's just one project set in the same universe as Army of the Dead, with an anime-style prequel series Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas also in the works. Now, creators Deborah and Zack Snyder are opening up about creating that new universe.

Speaking with Netflix Geeked, the Snyders talked about growing the original universe set up in Army of the Dead. Zack Snyder described it as "really fun" getting to see things continue to grow.

"For me, honestly, I was like, 'This'll be a fun genre romp.' And I had a feeling that we could do it well, and that people would enjoy it and that it would be big on the service and there'd be a lot of people that would like it," he said. "But what it's become is really exciting for us because we really love this world too. And to just see it growing is really fun."

Deborah Snyder spoke a bit more about how Netflix gave them the opportunity to take what they had created and expand it even before Army of the Dead had debuted on the streaming platform.

"And also to create something wholly original, after working on so many projects back to back that was steeped deep in canon, to actually create our own canon I think has been really, really fun," she said. "And then to expand it and have these other worlds and these other projects, you know, on the heels of that, I think has been really great. And it was a bold move because like a lot of times, the studios want to wait for the sure bet before they're gonna commit to other projects, and to Netflix's credit, they saw what this world was and we kept pitching them things and they kept saying yes. So we were like, 'What about this German spinoff? And what about if we have Dieter and we get his backstory? And what if we do an anime? And they let us do it concurrently. And I think for the audience it's a win-win because they have Army, and then sometime this fall, we're going to have Army of Thieves and then sometime, you know, next year we're going to have the anime, which is a backstory prequel."

As was noted previously, Army of Thieves will star and be directed by Schweighöefer, who is reprising his role as Ludwig Dieter from Army of the Dead. The film will also star Nathalie Emmanuel, Ruby O'Fee, Stuart Martin, and Guztavo Khanage. Zack Snyder is a producer on the film and has a story credit.

"The Thieves will be a very entertaining and very cool movie," Schweighöfer told ComicBook.com earlier this year. "We finished, and I'm in post-production. Nathalie Emmanuel is fantastic in that movie. And yeah, it will be a hell of a ride. It's so funny. And you will see scenes never seen before. It's really entertaining. So, hopefully, we can all watch that movie soon."

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Army of Thieves does not yet have a release date but is expected to be released later this year exclusively on Netflix. Army of the Dead is streaming now.