Ella Purnell has joined the cast of Zack Snyder and Netflix's upcoming zombie heist thriller, Army of the Dead. Following his departure from Justice League and the DC Extended Universe, Snyder is going to try his hand at the zombie genre... again. The filmmaker actually started his directing career on 2004's Dawn of the Dead remake - itself, a box office hit that earned strong reviews to boot - and has been trying to get Army of the Dead made for over a decade. Now, after years of being attached as a producer only, Snyder is gearing up to direct the movie instead.
Written by Snyder and Shay Hatten (John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum), Army of the Dead follows a mercenary (Dave Bautista) who tries to pull off the greatest heist in history, in the wake of Las Vegas being overrun with zombies. The current screenplay is said to be completely different from the controversial script draft written years ago, and features an eclectic mixture of characters in both leading and supporting roles. Now, it appears a few more of those players have been cast, in addition to a major one.
According to The Wrap, Purnell has signed on to play Bautista's onscreen daughter in Army of the Dead. The site also reports that Theo Rossi (Marvel's Luke Cage), Ana De La Reguera (Everything, Everything), and Huma Qureshi (Kaala) have signed on to play as-yet unspecified roles in the film.
Army of the Dead marks another high-profile movie role for Purnell, following her previous turn in Tim Burton's Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children book adaptation and her recurring roles on recent TV series like Ordeal by Innocence and Sweetbitter. A previously-released casting breakdown revealed that her character in the film, Kate, is a 20-something "taciturn, hard-working, driven" woman who volunteers for the World Health Organization, in the wake of the zombie outbreak. Meanwhile, Bautista's protagonist, Scott, is said to be a "dry witted, thoughtful" man who's estranged from a family when he begins to plan his mysterious heist job. As for the other reported cast members: they could be playing some of the members of Scott's operation, which are said to range from a latina body shop owner to a "master" safe-cracker, and a refugee and single mom trying to support her two kids.
It sounds like the Army of the Dead script calls for an inclusive collection of actors (with respect to both gender and race), so it's good to see that reflected in the casting so far. Similarly, the movie's premise is something that should play to Snyder's strengths as a filmmaker who specializes in highly stylized, kinetic action and set pieces - much in the same way his Dawn of the Dead remake did, with its "fast" zombie sequences. With shooting expected to get underway by July, Army of the Dead should be ready to premiere on Netflix by 2020, making it one of the streamer's more talked-about Originals planned for that year.
Source: The Wrap