Zack Snyder says Warner Bros. "couldn’t figure out" how to make Army of the Dead

Army of the Dead
(Image credit: Netflix)

Army of the Dead may be coming to Netflix, but its rocky development history once saw it hanging in limbo for several years over at Warner Bros. before being snapped up by the streamer.

Now, in a recent roundtable with GamesRadar+, Snyder has aired some frustrations over the project’s time at Warners.

"Warner Bros – they couldn’t figure out how to make this movie," Snyder says. "They had it for years and they couldn’t figure out how to make it."

Netflix’s approach, however, was far more different – and straightforward from the one that saw Warner Bros. hold on to Army of the Dead for 12 years. "I had one meeting with Netflix and they were like ‘Yep, of course, make it immediately’," the director recalls.

"I don’t understand… it’s not a hard movie to say it’s got possible commercial value. It’s a team of zombie hunters going into a zombie-invested Vegas to steal some money… I could say that to anybody and they’d say ‘OK – sounds like a movie to me!’"

For Snyder, the emergence of Netflix is only a net positive for the industry. He points to The Queen’s Gambit – which he pointedly refers to as a movie, not a miniseries – as a case study in how the streamer is providing the space to tell riskier stories. "I would say, not long ago, where would that movie go [and] how would that movie survive?" Snyder says.

Thankfully, for Snyder and a legion of other creators, Netflix is offering another way out, and seemingly giving real freedom. Army of the Dead is set to be followed by a prequel, Army of Thieves, and an animated series. It’s worlds away from a title that may never have seen the light of day over at a more traditional studio.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.