WB reveals that it regrets selling ‘Army of The Dead’ to Netflix. Keep reading to find out what’s actually cooking.
The zombie epic ‘Army of The Dead’, directed by Zack Snyder, is off to a strong start on Netflix, with the streaming service reporting (via Deadline) that the film is anticipated to be viewed by 72 million households in its first four weeks. This places ‘Army of The Dead’ at number ten on the list of the most successful Netflix originals. ‘Army of The Dead’ debuted to the same critical acclaim as George Clooney’s ‘The Midnight Sky’, which premiered during the holidays last year.
- Why did WB sell ‘Army of The Dead’ to Netflix?
- WB crying over the loss of ‘Army of The Dead’
Why did WB sell ‘Army of The Dead’ to Netflix?
Zack Snyder has collaborated with Warner Bros. on several of his large and ambitious film projects in recent years.
This included not only his contributions to the DC Extended Universe, such as ‘Man Of Steel’, ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice’, and ‘Justice League’, but also his films ‘Watchmen’, ‘Legends Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga’Hoole’, and ‘Sucker Punch’.
So it came as a bit of a surprise when it was reported that Netflix was producing Snyder’s next zombie action picture ‘Army of The Dead’.
Snyder explained to Entertainment Weekly why Warner Bros. did not oversee and release ‘Army of The Dead’: “They didn’t want to spend that kind of money on a zombie movie, or just didn’t take it that seriously. I was always like, look guys, this is more than [just a zombie movie], but it fizzled out.”
The film ‘Army of The Dead’, which follows a bunch of thieves who escape into a zombie-infested Las Vegas in order to plunder its casinos, spent years in development hell at Warner Bros.
But, after an apparently innocuous meeting with Netflix, the streaming service quickly approved the extremely ambitious sci-fi epic. “I was talking about some of these scripts I was working on. And I mentioned the idea to [Netflix head of original films Scott Stuber] and he was like, ‘That is the movie! Go write that movie and let’s make it.’ I was like, ‘What, do you mean now?’ And he’s like, ‘Go write it tomorrow and we’ll go shoot it in a week’”.
Netflix has poured its whole weight and support behind ‘Army of The Dead’, confirming a four-hour animated prequel series, ‘Army of The Dead: Lost Vegas’.
WB crying over the loss of ‘Army of The Dead’
Zack Snyder’s directorial debut ‘Dawn of the Dead’ and Netflix’s recent blockbuster ‘Army of The Dead’ are both zombie movies and two of his most well-received efforts in terms of critical consensus and audience reaction, as well as the only two of his nine feature-length directorial outings that weren’t produced by Warner Bros.
There’s certainly some remaining bitterness between the two sides, based on Snyder’s comments in the aftermath of HBO Max’s ‘Justice League’, with the filmmaker being more candid about his relationship with the studio than ever now that he’s no longer in their service. Insider Daniel Richtman claims that WB is suffering from seller’s remorse after selling ‘Army of The Dead’ to Netflix, with the source stating that the executives regret their decision. “WB feels like an idiot for selling army to Netflix”, he says.
‘Army of The Dead’ was first revealed in March 2007 as a project in development, with only Snyder attached to produce. Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. was revealed to be in the director’s chair the following year, and he remained loosely involved for the next four years before all attempts to bring the apocalyptic actioner to reality were completely abandoned.
After sitting on the concept for a decade and doing nothing with it while continuing to make movies with Zack Snyder at the helm, it would be strange for Warner Bros. to suddenly find themselves lamenting the loss of ‘Army of The Dead’ as the one that got away, despite repeatedly telling the former steward of the DCEU that they weren’t interested in producing it. In any case, it was a win-win situation for Netflix in the end.
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