How Army of Thieves feeds into those Army of the Dead time-loop theories

Army of Thieves (2021)
(Image credit: Netflix)

Warning: The following contains major spoilers for Army of Thieves (and Army of the Dead). Turn back now if you haven't watched the movies on Netflix!

Speculation about Army of the Dead's time loop has been swirling ever since the movie hit Netflix – so, naturally, you might be wondering if Army of Thieves feeds into this timeline oddity. While the movie doesn't directly reference the theory, Dieter does have some strangely prophetic dreams…

We've got a refresher on that time loop below, as well as an explanation of how Dieter's nightmares fit in with the idea. Here's how Army of Thieves might link to one of Army of the Dead's biggest mysteries.

What is the time loop?

Army of the Dead

(Image credit: Netflix)

Army of the Dead is chockablock with clues that this isn't the first time the crew has attempted this particular heist. At one point, Vanderohe even points out to Dieter that some dead bodies are wearing clothes that look a lot like the ones worn by their fellow heisters. "It could be us in another timeline and we're caught in some infinite loop of fighting and dying and fighting and dying," he says. Check out our full breakdown of the theory and all its clues here.

GamesRadar+ sat down with Snyder to talk about Army of Thieves, and he teased that the time loop will come up in Army of the Dead 2: "I'm a huge fan of this mythological understory, and what it does to the safes, [Hiroyuki Sanada's character] Bly Tanaka, all your time loop fun that you can have, there's a lot of cool enhancements that are baked in now," he told us. "I can't wait to make the sequel to Army of the Dead, so that we can see how then all of those things manifest."

Does Army of Thieves include the time loop?

Army of Thieves (2021)

(Image credit: Netflix)

Not exactly. No clear reference is made to the time loop, but there is something interesting about Dieter's nightmares of the undead hordes. If you've seen Army of the Dead, you'll know the safe-cracker appears to meet his death at the hands of Alpha zombie Zeus outside the Götterdämmerung safe in Las Vegas. We don't actually see Dieter die, though, and Zack Snyder has hinted that he just might have survived – and could be part of the sequel.

When Dieter mentions his dreams to Gwen and Korina, the hacker says something that could turn out to be very significant. "Maybe they're prophecies, not dreams," she says. "Maybe you saw your own death." 

If Dieter's nightmares are foretelling his eventual fate in Army of the Dead (or at least, what could have happened to him in one timeline, if not the movie as we saw it) then that could be connected to whatever is causing the loop. Somehow, Dieter seems to be having premonitions, especially considering one nightmare sees him crack a safe with zombies at his back, with one grabbing him from behind after he gets into the vault – which is more or less what happens to him in Army of the Dead.

Or, as Gwen says, he could just be having nightmares because zombies are scary. We'll just have to wait until Army of the Dead 2 to find out for certain...

Army of Thieves is streaming on Netflix now. If you're in the mood for a movie marathon, check out our guide to the best Netflix movies to fill out your watchlist.

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.