Zack Snyder’s Army Of The Dead didn’t lack for flashy, disposable characters, most of whom seemed to exist for the primary purpose of bulking out the bodycount for the Vegas-set zombie film’s big finale. Among the most fun of that massive pack was Ludwig Dieter, the nerdy safecracker played by German actor Matthew Schweighöfer. Snyder must have agreed, too, since he wasted little time in throwing his production muscle behind a prequel film starring and directed by Schweighöfer, telling the story of what he was doing six years before that fateful heist.
Now we’ve finally got our first full look at that prequel, Army Of Thieves, which got its first trailer debut as part of Netflix’s yes-we’re-really-calling-it-that Tudum promotional event. Although the movie reportedly takes place at the very start of the zombie outbreak chronicled in Dead, you wouldn’t necessarily know it from the trailer, which, outside one quick news report, is steering hard into the “romantic comedy heist” movie parts of the film’s description, and not so much the “the dead are walking and trying to eat us” part.
Not that it’s not still pretty absurd, given that we open with Dieter participating in an underground safe-cracking contest, which is apparently a thing. We then get a loving homage to about a billion different heist movies, as Nathalie Emmanuel introducers her team, who, as Dieter points out, are very much of the “everybody has a special skill and they all have to work together to steal the thing” type. And, honestly? Looks pretty fun, complete with a set of elaborate, Wagnerian-themed safes for the team to crack their way into.
Army Of Thieves stars Schweighöfer, plus Emmanuel, Guz Khan, Ruby O. Fee, and Stuart Martin. The film, produced through Zack and Deborah Snyder’s Stone Quarry production banner, was at least partially improvised, dialing hard into the comedy roots of many of its performers. The film is set to arrive on Netflix on October 29.