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A Guide To Army Of The Dead‘s Zombie Heist Crew – & Its Last Minute Swap

What happens if Ocean’s 11 included a zombie outbreak? That’s admittedly the over-simplified gist of Netflix’s latest movie Army of the Dead, from Zack Snyder. A group is assembled to head into Las Vegas to break into a casino and steal a bunch of money, and oh by the way, the city has been overrun by zombies and the team is up against a ticking clock: the government has decided to bomb Las Vegas in hopes of containing the zombies and getting rid of them once and for all.

So in the group goes, lead by Dave Bautista’s Scott Ward who is far too familiar with zombies: he was in Las Vegas before and had to kill his wife after she became a zombie. He’s also not the only one who’s dealt with the undead. His assembled team is absolutely massive and includes all the usual heist suspects, from a safecracker, to a sharp shooter, a mechanic, and a pilot to get the team out safely after they’ve retrieved the money.

But before it all came together, the casting of Army of the Dead was under a little heat in the real world. When the movie was originally filmed (pre-pandemic), Chris D’Elia played the part of Peters, the helicopter pilot. However, following his sexual misconduct allegations, he was scrubbed from the film and digitally replaced with Tig Notaro. These reshoots took place during the pandemic, and Notaro was filmed against a green screen and inserted into the movie without ever actually filming with the rest of the cast. Considering Snyder’s style of close-ups and often blurry background shots, Notaro’s new Peters seamlessly fits right in with everyone else.

As for the rest of the cast, actors from all over the world, and from the worlds of film and television converge to fight zombies in Army of the Dead.

Dave Bautista plays Scott Ward

Who is Scott?
If this really is just Zombies Ocean’s 11, then Bautista’s Ward is Danny Ocean. He’s the guy who’s sent out to “assemble the team” to get into the Las Vegas zombie zone. Ward’s also no stranger to the zombies, having worked as a mercenary, already risking his life before trying to and get humans out before it’s too late. He’s estranged from his daughter, Kate, after Ward was forced to kill his wife (and Kate’s mother) after she turned into a zombie.

Bautista’s Greatest Hits
Bautista got his start as a WWE wrestler, returning on and off to the ring on and off through the late nineties up until 2019, along the way becoming the World Heavyweight Champion. But more recently, he left the ring behind and headed into space with the Guardians of the Galaxy as Drax the Destroyer in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He also popped up in the most recent Bond and Blane Runner movie, and has a part in the upcoming Dune. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Ella Purnell plays Kate Ward

Who is Kate Ward?
After the death of her mother, Kate falls out of touch with her father. She gets a job working for the fictionalised World Health Organisation (WHO) at a refugee camp on the outskirts of Las Vegas. She’s clearly got a big heart, which we can see when she’s forced to witness some of the guards at the camp abusing the refugees.

Purnell’s Greatest Hits
Purnell has had a handful of film roles, her biggest one to date being in Tim Burton’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. She also appeared in Maleficent as a younger version of Angelina Jolie‘s Maleficent and played a young Jane in the most recent Tarzan movie. As for television, she led two seasons of Showtime’s Sweetbitter and will next reprise her role as Kate in Netflix’s Army of the Dead anime series.

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Omari Hardwick plays Vanderohe

Who is Vanderohe?
Vanderohe is a former soldier who’s been into the zombie zone before, on a dangerous rescue mission. His weapon of choice is a giant buzzsaw, which definitely comes in handy when he’s fighting against the zombies. He also forms a bit of a friendship with Ludwig, after the two are forced together in close quarters trying to accomplish the heist.

Hardwick’s Greatest Hits
Though he’s popped up in movies and TV series for the past decade, Hardwick’s biggest role was playing James “Ghost” St. Patrick in Power for six seasons. In addition to that, he also played Andre in Being Mary Jane and Mr. _______ in Sorry to Bother You. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Ana de la Reguera plays Maria Cruz

Who is Maria Cruz?
Maria is an old friend of Ward’s who’s fought the zombies with him before, and she once again follows him into the Las Vegas zone. She’s a mechanic, and when Ward comes calling she’s more than willing to join him on the heist. And yes, she’s been harbouring a crush on him for quite some time.

Reguera’s Greatest Hits
Reguera has appeared in dozens of Telenovelas in Mexico, and made the jump to American television in 2014 playing Elisa Alvaro in the first season of Narcos. Since then, she’s had recurring main roles on both Power and Goliath, and recently appeared in the YA film Everything, Everything. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Theo Rossi plays Burt Cummings

Who is Burt Cummings?
Cummings works as one of the security guards at the refugee camp just outside of Vegas. To put it bluntly, he’s a jerk, and to put it more specifically, he abuses his power against everyone (especially women) seeking refuge at the Vegas camp.

Rossi’s Greatest Hits
Fans of Sons of Anarchy will recognise Rossi, who played Juan Carlos “Juice” Ortiz for over 80 episodes of the series. His other major series role was playing Hernan “Shades” Alvarez in Marvel’s Luke Cage. And, if you can remember all the way back to 2008, he played Antonio in the first Cloverfield movie.

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Matthias Schweighöfer plays Ludwig Dieter

Who is Ludwig Dieter?
As an expert safecracker, Peters jokes that Ludwig is actually the most important person on the team — he’s the one who’s actually going to go inside to grab the money. While he might be familiar with large safes, he’s not comfortable around zombies and confesses he’s never killed one before. After he and Vanderohe are forced together during the initial attack, they form a friendship as they continue on with the mission.

Schweighöfer’s Greatest Hits
Schweighöfer is an actor, voice actor, film director, and producer in Germany, where he earned an Adolf Grimme Award (basically a German Emmy). A majority of his roles have either been in Germany, or German voice dubs, but he did pop up in 2008’s Valkyrie opposite Tom Cruise. As for what’s next, he’s set to reprise his Army of the Dead role of Ludwig in a prequel called Army of Thieves.

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Nora Arnezeder plays Lily

Who is Lily?
Lily, aka The Coyote, has been sneaking people in and out of Las Vegas. She’s learned absolutely everything about the zombies, including how they work and think, proving to be incredibly useful as the group starts moving into the city. But, there are still a few things she hasn’t cracked about the creatures.

Arnezeder’s Greatest Hits
Mozart in the Jungle fans will recognise Arnezeder for her role as Anna Maria across three seasons of the series. She also starred in CBS’s short lived series Zoo about not a zoo, but animals going wild and the race to stop them before they turn completely rabid. Kinda sounds like zombies, huh? Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Hiroyuki Sanada plays Bly Tanaka

Who is Bly Tanaka?
A former Las Vegas businessman, Tanaka knows that if the city is successfully destroyed, so is all of his money inside. So, he hires Ward to go in and rob his own vault in hopes of successfully getting the money out, and back to him.

Sanada’s Greatest Hits
Sanada is Marvel veteran, having appeared in both The Wolverine and Avengers: Endgame (he played different roles in each). He also appears as Scorpion in 2021’s Mortal Kombat, and also played Musashi on Westworld. And this isn’t even counting his hundreds of roles across Japanese television and film, including the original Japanese version of The Ring. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Garret Dillahunt plays Martin

Who Is Martin?
Working as Tanaka’s muscle, Martin is sent into Las Vegas with everyone else to make sure the mission goes smoothly. But, considering who his employer is, he’s got some ulterior motives once inside.

Dillahunt’s Greatest Hits
Dillahunt dealt with zombies before as John on Fear the Walking Dead, and he played three different gunslingers in Deadwood (he most notably played Francis Wolcott in season 2). But, he’s not all zombies and cowboys: he also appeared as Dr. Jody on The Mindy Project and played Burt on Raising Hope for four years. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Tig Notaro plays Marianne Peters

Who is Marianne Peters?
Recruited as the pilot for the mission, Marianne’s job is to acquire a helicopter stationed in Las Vegas and get it up and running for everyone to use to escape. She’s game to join in on the heist, if only because she hates her current job and is ready for a change — the promised payment for the job will certainly do that.

Notaro’s Greatest Hits
Predominantly a standup comedian, Notaro has dozens of comedy specials to her name. But being a comedian means she’s been recruited into all sorts of movies, TV shows, and specials, including New Girl, Inside Amy Schumer, and Community. Most recently, she had a recurring role on Star Trek: Discovery playing Denise “Jett” Reno. Her semi-autobiographical series, One Mississippi ran for two seasons on Amazon Prime Video, and she also directed the 2 Dope Girls limited series for HBO. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Raúl Castillo plays Mikey Guzman

Who Is Mikey Guzman?
Because even the zombie apocalypse needs influencers, Guzman uses his huge social media presence to demonstrate different ways to kill zombies. This makes him a good addition to Ward’s team, even though he gets into Las Vegas and immediately starts taking selfies. He’s accompanied by his friend Samantha as he enters the zombie zone.

Castillo’s Greatest Hits
Castillo played Richie in both Looking and Looking: The Movie and played Nick on Netflix’s Atypical. He also showed up Knives Out, playing a police officer in Rian Johnson’s 2019 film. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.


Credit: Original article published here.

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