Matthijs van Heijningen to Raise the Army of the Dead
by Alex Billington
June 4, 2008
We're in need of another great epic zombie film. Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead, Edgar Wright's Shaun of the Dead, Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror, 28 Weeks Later, and Fido are all that come to mind when trying to think of great zombie films from the past few years. We've mentioned Army of the Dead a few times previously as a film that has the potential of being the next big zombie hit. There are others in the works, like World War Z and Fragile, but Army of the Dead sounds like its got the makings of a epic and fun zombie film. Producer Zack Snyder has finally landed a director for Army of the Dead - commercial filmmaker and visual artist Matthijs van Heijningen, who will be making his directorial debut.
As a refresher, Army of the Dead is an epic zombie film set in Las Vegas. Zack Snyder actually wrote the story, while Joby Harold (Awake) penned the screenplay. The film is best explained by Zack's wife and producing partner Deborah Snyder. "Basically, something happened in Vegas and there was this huge outbreak of these zombies that were killing people. So to contain it they basically contain Vegas. The city is this wasteland with walls around it and all of these zombies are inside. One of our characters goes in there to investigate and gets trapped inside and her father goes in to search for her. He can't do it alone so he gets a group of mercenaries under the guise that there's money still in the casinos, because they don't care about his daughter."
Zack explains that "we were looking for an inventive talent with a unique voice and we found it in Matthijs." He adds that Matthijs' "ability to infuse humor with irony allows him to create compelling stories in 30 seconds." If you're interested in seeing some of Matthijs' work, the guys over at SlashFilm have put together a great compilation of eight commercials that Matthijs directed. I'm honestly impressed by what I've seen and looking forward to seeing exactly how Matthijs will perform working on a feature film for the first time. This sounds like a project with a lot of potential and I hope Matthijs can pull it off.
Although there have been a few great zombie films recently, I'm really looking forward to World War Z and Army of the Dead. I haven't yet seen a genre-defining zombie film in my time. I missed the original George Romero days and only started getting into zombie films with Dawn of the Dead. Hopefully a few of these in the works turn out great. For those of you that are fans of the zombie genre - what are your feelings on Army of the Dead?
Reader Feedback - 8 Comments
I am so stoked. I absolutely love zombie flicks, and this sounds like it has big potential.
John on Jun 5, 2008
Hi Alex, just letting you know that the imdb-link is actually linked to his father, who is one of the most famous movie producers ever in my country of the Netherlands, the man you're looking for is this one : http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0374048/
Jules on Jun 5, 2008
Zombie flicks are a genre 'per se'. No need to define them. In every area there are good contributions (i.e. Shaun of the Dead, 28 days later) and terrible ones (Day of the dead *recent*). The one I'm more stoked about is World War Z, been trying to get my hands on the book for more than a month (I live in Portugal, Southern Europe/Northern Africa). About this specific movie, the whole premise sounds good. Very Snake Plisskin but reversed. I hope it's hell-a-gory!
Huckpaletos on Jun 5, 2008
The Dawn of the Dead remake was barely GOOD, much less a "great epic."
Tom on Jun 5, 2008
i hope just to see some good zombies films because lately all i have seen is crap. other than romero's new diary of the dead this hant been much. so keepin my fingers crossed. but i look forward to all zombie flicks and then i decide if they were crap or not.
UGLI on Jun 5, 2008
Awesome. sounds like what RESIDENT EVIL 3 should be, although that one was by far the best in the pretty awful franchise...
Ryan on Jun 5, 2008
So like Resident Evil 3, this also has a zombie showdown in Las Vegas. Like RE2, this also has a city walled off and isolated because of a zombie breakout. Like Escape From New York, a walled off city needs a hero to go in a rescue someone an outsider who wound up inside. Like Doomsday, a woman goes inside to investigate and gets trapped. Is the "Something happened" going to be a disease that broke out and that's why they walled off the city like in Doomsday? With such a derivitive and hackneyed concept, the movie could stand to use some ironic humor. Or is the fact that it is being made at all ironically humorous enough? Don't get me wrong: I really like DAWN OF THE DEAD 2004 and I really love 300. But then again, I really love the first three Living Dead movies, the first two Godfather movies, the first three Star Wars movies, the first two Indiana Jones movies, The Sixth Sense, The Matrix, ...
Feo Amante on Jun 5, 2008
Pfft. That story doesn't sound the least bit original. Not surprising who they got to direct, the same guy that's going to do the prequal for The Thing and make the main character McReady's brother in the Norwegian camp!?! WTF?! I say we take off and nuke Hollywood from orbit, it's the only way to be sure...
Fed Up With Hollywood on Jun 26, 2009
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