‘Army of the Dead’ prequel, ‘Army of Thieves,’ gets first trailer

Army of Thieves
(Image credit: Netflix)

Whether or not you were a fan of Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead that premiered on Netflix back in May — What to Watch reviewer Matt Donato was among the latter — it was hard not to delight at Matthias Schweighöfer’s character Ludwig Dieter. As Netflix and Snyder look to build an Army of the Dead universe, the first spinoff from the zombie actioner is Army of Thieves, a prequel that puts Dieter at the center.

Not to spoil anything for Army of the Dead, but those who watched it will remember Dieter as the nervous German safecracker who stuck out like a sore thumb next to Dave Bautista and all the other ex-military characters. However, Dieter proved his worth not only as the comedic relief but as a member of the team. In Army of Thieves, we’ll find out a little bit about what brought Dieter to the attention of everyone involved in the Vegas heist.

Set during the early stages of the zombie apocalypse, Dieter works with a group of aspiring thieves looking to, as one character in the trailer puts it, become legends. We don’t get a lot of specifics about what they're attempting to steal, but what we do get is some good Dieter quips and action set pieces set to an amped-up version of “Ride of the Valkyries.”

Watch the trailer below.

The trailer features Zack Snyder’s name, but specifically as a producer. That is because the Army of the Dead director was not behind the camera for the prequel (would be quite the feat to film both Army of the Dead and Army of Thieves in such quick succession). Instead, Schweighöfer is actually pulling double duty as star and director on the film (he has directed a handful of German movies in his career).

Joining Schweighöfer in the heist is going to be Nathalie Emmanuel, Ruby O. Fee, Stuart Martin, Guz Khan, Jonathan Cohen and Noémie Nakai.

As far as a release date goes, the trailer only lets us know that Army of Thieves is coming soon. All expectations have that being sometime in 2021, which means it joins a lineup of upcoming Netflix films like Beckett, Red Notice, Tick, Tick...Boom, The Harder They Fall and Don’t Look Up.

You can watch Army of the Dead right now on Netflix.

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd (opens in new tab).