Way back when he was still working on Watchmen, director Zack Snyder was talking about a not-quite-sequel to his Dawn of the Dead. The project had seemed to quietly slip away recently, but new The Thing director Matthijs Van Heijningen has revealed that there may be life in Army of the Dead yet.
Snyder wrote the film with his frequent cohort Joby Jarrold in 2007, and was producing it with his wife Deborah Snyder for their Cruel & Unusual Films banner. Set in a quarantined, walled-off Las Vegas (The Playlist note some similarities with Escape From New York), it involves a father teaming up with a group of mercenaries to break his daughter out of the zombie-ravaged city.
Van Heijningen was attached to direct Army before The Thing came along, and says that, "it was at a very far stage, like three months from shooting, but then the financial crisis hit in 2008 and everyone's projects got shrunk, so it was basically put on hold. But I really hope we can revive it; it's a great project. It would be nice to do it."
"Nice" is perhaps not a word we'd use for a film that's reputed to feature zombie/human miscegenation and hybrid babies (Braindead, anyone?), but fascinatingly horrible as it sounds, Van Heijningen says much will depend on the performance of his feature debut: "It's all new to me. I have no idea how The Thing will be received or how much traction I'll get from it. I haven't experienced anything like this before..."
His experience begins in the UK on December 2.