While Zack Snyder's Justice League is getting a lot of attention right now with the so-called "Snyder Cut" of the DC film just over a month away from its HBO Max debut, the filmmaker has another film project set to debut this year as well. Snyder's zombie heist film, Army of the Dead, will premiere on Netflix later this year and sees Snyder serve not only as director but cinematographer as well. According to the filmmaker, getting to shoot Army of the Dead himself made it one of his "most satisfying" moviemaking experiences.
Speaking with I Minutemen, Snyder said that he had enjoyed shooting things himself back when he did commercials, but as he got into larger movies, the work took him further and further away from being behind the camera -- but that Army of the Dead ended up being a good opportunity to get behind the lens again.
"When I made TV commercials, I was the director-cameraman. You know, for 12 years, and pretty much not every job but most of the jobs I shot myself. And I just really enjoy it," Snyder said. "And really, part of the reason is that you know, the bigger the movies got, the further away you get from the camera. The more infrastructure there is between you and the sort of cinematic experience. You don't touch the world as closely."
He continued, "And so, I just felt like with Army it was a great opportunity to just get really close to the photography and to the actors. Frankly, everyone's like 'how can you shoot the movie and direct the movie' and I'm like it's incredibly easy because the actors are like right there and conversation is easy. The pace is easy because I can just work that way. It's just really nice."
He further explained that in Army of the Dead he worked with his friend and longtime camera operator John Clothier, describing the work as a "ballet" when they're shooting and that the work was deeply satisfying.
"It was really one of the best, really most satisfying sort of experiences I've had making a movie, as far as that aspect of it goes," Snyder said.
Set to debut on Netflix later this year, Army of the Dead is Snyder's first post-DC project. The film is about a casino vault heist during a zombie apocalypse and stars Guardians of the Galaxy star Dave Bautista as the leader of the group. The film also stars Ella Purnell, Ana de la Reguera, Garret Dillahunt, Raul Castillo, Omari Hardwick, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tig Notaro, and Matthias Schweighofer.
"It is a full-blown, balls-to-the-wall zombie heist movie, so it's genre-on-genre in a great way," Snyder told Entertainment Weekly. "So you expect pure zombie mayhem, and you get that, 100 percent. But also you get these really amazing characters on a fantastic journey. It's going to surprise people that there's a lot of warmth and real emotion with these great characters."
"With Dawn, we made a zombie movie but tried to do it all the way with all of those tropes of the genre," the director added. "That was so fun, so I started to think of what were other genres that story didn't have room for. It's this tone where you have fun with the genre but you don't make fun of the genre — it's a fine line."