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'The Thing' Prequel Director Could Return to Helm 'Army of the Dead'

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October 4, 2011

Army of the Dead

Over three years ago, it was revealed that director Matthijs Van Heijningen Jr. would be at the helm of Army of the Dead, a return to the zombie genre by producer Zack Snyder after sitting in the director's chair for Dawn of the Dead back in 2004. However, when the financial crisis hit in 2008, the film was one of several casualties in Hollywood and the project never got off the ground. That brought the filmmaker to The Thing, the prequel to John Carpenter's horror film of the same name, but it sounds like the commercial director might end up returning to helm Army of the Dead, and it could very will be his next project.

The Playlist recently spoke with the filmmaker who said:

“It would be nice to do it. That was the Zack Snyder project. And it was in a very far stage – it was like three months before shooting. But then the [financial] crisis hit in 2008 and everybody got shrinked, so that just basically was put on hold. So maybe that’s going to be revived, because it’s a good project.”

With a film that close to the start of production, it wouldn't be too hard to get the ball rolling again, though a new cast might have to be rounded up at this point (of course, we're not even sure who was involved a few years back, so maybe it wouldn't be that big of an issue). It would be quite an epic zombie movie as the story is set in a quarantined Las Vegas in the not-too-distant future where a zombie plague has broken out and a father teams with some mercenaries to save his daughter from the city. However, if Army of the Dead doesn't come back to life, the director has an idea of what he might like to do instead:

“There’s a book out there which I would really like to do, but I think it’s very hard to get the rights for it. Somebody else has the rights. It’s a crazy Russian war movie, really funny and horrible at the same time. It’s about the absurdity of the second World War.

But I’d also like to do something maybe funny; comedy and horror goes really well together, and so maybe a dark comedy, sort of like ‘An American Werewolf In London.’ It’s a story about two guys and everything goes wrong, but it’s a love story at the same time – but it’s scary as hell. So, something like that is also interesting. I think I’ll really wait for the 'The Thing' to come out”

At this point, I haven't been too impressed with the trailers for the horror film, but perhaps that's not entirely at the fault of Matthijs Van Heijningen Jr. I like the idea of him thinking about taking on a horror comedy since those usually hit better than most of the straight-up horror flicks nowadays. But for now, the filmmaker is waiting for The Thing to hit theaters on October 14th, and if it does well, maybe he'll have a sequel at Universal in his future. But personally, I hope he gets one of his other projects, especially a return to Army of the Dead, moving forward instead.

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