Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead, a movie about hordes of zombies taking over a major US city, guarantees a certain amount of CGI. Creating character baddies like the zombie king and queen alongside conjuring mass swathes of the undead ghouls requires some CG heavy lifting. But, as revealed in the latest Netflix Film Club video, the city of Las Vegas underwent similar treatment.
Those who’ve seen the movie will know that the majority of its considerable runtime takes place within the walls of a ruinous Las Vegas. The opening credits chronicles the city’s fall under zombie rule.
Naturally, it involves government presence and many, many explosions. It should come as no surprise that this involved a mash of effect strategies, with the main team shooting on the ground while a second crew filmed Vegas from a helicopter, fed it into a computer and grafted a 3D version onto the footage.
“To shoot this practically, in Vegas was an impossibility,” says producer Wesley Coller. Taking a peek at the length of the Vegas strip, which is around four miles, it’s no wonder the film opted to blend a mix of practical and visual effects.
“Anything the actors touched and walked on was gonna be real,” adds producer Deborah Snyder. What else was real? All those abandoned cars and buses, which were shipped in to further bolster the derelict vibe of this apocalyptic wasteland.
Considering the work put into the creation of this world, it’s still unclear whether an Army of the Dead sequel will make use of those efforts. Snyder’s initial concepts for a follow-up involve picking up right where the first flick left off – with Vanderohe’s flight arriving in Mexico. A prequel already in the can titled Army of Thieves is also unlikely to reuse the Vegas sets as it takes place in Europe.
To get your fix on Army of the Dead, check out our complete Army of the Dead ending explainer, and the truth about why Army of the Dead is blurry in places. If you’re revisiting the movie to see if you can spot the practical vs. digital, keep your eyes peeled for a Justice League easter egg alongside Snyder’s walk-on cameo.