Army of Thieves: “It was interesting to offer Jonathan Cohen a role against the job”

Express interview with producer Zack Snyder and actor / director Matthias Schweighöfer, who tell us about the prequel to Army of the Dead on Netflix.

Go back. After Army of the Dead and his zombie apocalypse in Las Vegas, Army of Thieves focuses on Dieter’s character’s past as he begins his career as a safe-robber. A small meta action comedy, where Matthias Schweighöfer stages himself. Meet actor / director and producer Zack Snyder.

What was the initial pitch ofArmy of Thieves ? A breakout film mixed with comedy?
Zack Snyder
: It’s obviously a shortcut but yes, in the idea, it was exactly that. And that’s why Matthias Schweighöfer seemed to me to be the best candidate to direct the film: he’s the one who knows the character of Dieter the best, he has the spirit that I wanted to instill in this story, which in addition takes place in Europe [Schweighöfer est Allemand]. And he kindly replied: ” Of course, I will.

Matthias Schweighöfer : Yes yes, that’s exactly what I said: ” Sure. “(Laughs.) No, in real life, it didn’t happen like that. When Zack told me that I should realize Army of Thieves, there was a long silence that seemed to last a century: I thought I was in a western! A tumbleweed was slowly crossing the street and Zack was staring straight at me… And I ended up saying, ” Come on, why not. I was in shock. It was on my list of things to do before you die.

It was complicated to embark on this adventure of prequel without knowing how the public would react to Army of the Dead and your character?
MS
: A little, but in fact, I totally trusted Zack Snyder and what we were doing on Army of the Dead. He was certain – and the folks at Netflix as well – that Dieter was going to be the film’s secret weapon because he was the comic relief. The team members laughed every time I had a good line. I quickly realized that I could trust Dieter, and therefore that I had to believe in this prequel.

There is a fairy tale aspect to the film, something very European. Was it voluntary?
MS:
Completely. In real life, Potsdam and Berlin obviously don’t look like a fairy tale, but since I knew that the rest of the story is a zombie apocalypse, I wanted to create a strong contrast. So I added some in the idea of ​​a fantasized Germany, gray, where it rains, with old houses from the 16th-17th century, cobbled streets …

ZS : Me, it made me laugh to go from this little character of a rather shabby banker who eats his sandwiches alone at lunchtime, to this guy who a few years later will find himself in the middle of Las Vegas infested with zombies. That people say to themselves: ” No, but it’s not possible. »If yes, it is (Laughs.)

You can explain to me why you thought of Jonathan Cohen for the role of the “bad guy”, the Interpol agent who tracks down Dieter’s team? In France, he is best known for his comic roles and Army of Thieves isn’t a drama at all, but his character is more serious than we’re used to.
MS
: The character of Delacroix must have been French. Already because it was marked in the scenario: ” French Interpol Agent “(Laughs.) Jonathan’s name came to the table, surely thanks to Netflix [Cohen joue dans Family Business sur la plateforme]. A super funny guy, a great actor. We found it interesting to offer him a somewhat counter-productive role. He said yes and I think he did a very good job.

ZS : He was great.

Zack, what can you tell us about the animated series Army of the Dead who is in preparation? Will there be a link with this film?
ZS. : The series takes place right after the wall around Las Vegas has been erected. We discover the cause of the zombie epidemic, its mysterious origins, and beyond.

Like really “beyond”?
ZS
: Ah ah, yeah. I’m not going to spoil anything, but there is a planet called Xanadu in the show, so this is to tell you how crazy it is! Characters wonder why the planet is called like that, and they come to the conclusion that maybe the scientists who discovered it lived in an Olivia Newton-John movie!

Army of Thieves, by Matthias Schweighöfer, with Matthias Schweighöfer, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jonathan Cohen… Available on Netflix. Trailer :

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