In a panel and presentation at the San Diego Comic-Con (aka Comic-Con@Home), the first teaser trailer has been released, revealing the main plot and the players involved.
Army of Thieves trailer details
Army of Thieves explores the early days of the zombie plague in the United States. Based on what has been revealed in the trailer, the zombie infestation is isolated in the U.S., but that presents an opportunity for less scrupulous people to take advantage of.
We find Ludwig Dieter (Matthias Schweighöfer), who became one of the fan favorite characters in Army of the Dead, as he begins his career as a safecracking expert. Dieter is recruited by a woman named Gwendoline (Nathalie Emmanuel) who explains that the zombie outbreak has distracted the rest of the world’s attention. Thus, it presents a perfect time for robbing the usually highly secured banks across Europe blind.
Connections to the ‘Dead’ universe
There are brief glimpses of who the crew of the heist will comprise. These are interspersed with the action and suspenseful scenes in the film. Fans who might be expecting more zombies in this film might be disappointed.
The zombies and the events occurring across the pond appear to only be referenced as news bits, occurring in the background of the proceedings. While Army of Thieves is promoted as a prequel, it is more accurate to say that this is a spinoff. But the action scenes are promising, and are on par with other Zack Snyder films. That is to say, these scenes are a visual treat.
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However, as the teaser is quite short, not a whole lot is revealed as to the motivation behind Dieter’s choice to become a safecracker or why he would be an ideal candidate. The only hint the trailer provides is Gwendoline’s statement that this is a chance for him to live a “life less ordinary”.
Zack isn’t directing
It may surprise some that Zack Snyder is not helming this particular Netflix original. Although Snyder is a co-producer and the film is part of the first-look deal with Netflix, the directorial chair falls to its star, Matthias Schweighöfer himself.
Given how soon this follow-up comes after Army of the Dead, it would imply Snyder and Schweighöfer were fully aware beforehand on how popular the Deiter character would be after the original film’s release.
The official synopsis of the Army of Thieves reads:
In this prequel to Zack Snyder's Army of the Dead, small-town bank teller Dieter gets drawn into the adventure of a lifetime when a mysterious woman recruits him to join a crew of Interpol’s most wanted criminals, attempting to heist a sequence of legendary, impossible-to-crack safes across Europe.
Army of Thieves produced and directed by Matthias Schweighöfer and co-produced by Zack Snyder and Deborah Snyder, Wesley Coller, and Dan Maag. Starring Matthias Schweighöfer, Nathalie Emmanuel, Guz Khan, Jonathan Cohen, Stuart Martin, Peter Simonischek, Ruby. O, and John Bubniak, the film is scheduled for a late 2021 release exclusively on the Netflix streaming service.