One of the unexpected joys of Zack Snyderzombie-classified heist extravaganza Army of the dead was Matthias Schweighöfer as Dieter, the charming security hacker, so the idea of a romantic and dashing character-driven spinoff movie would be good news…
With the exception of one bittersweet (and somewhat spoiler) fact: Dieter, like almost every character in Army of the dead, had a lifespan equivalent to that of your average carnival goldfish, fruit fly, or Quibi: grim and short.
But fear not. In the land of the prequels, Dieter and his wavy blonde locks live on! What if her star turns in the new Netflix movie, Army of thieves, proves popular, maybe we’ll see him again, says Schweighöfer, who also directed the film. “You know, Grandmaster Zack Snyder just said in an interview, ‘We didn’t see him die on camera, on film.’ So there’s a chance we’ll bring him back. strength be a chance. Maybe yes. Maybe not, “said Schweighöfer Vanity Show.
This is far from the definitive answer viewers apparently got last May. Army of the dead, when Dieter disappeared behind the closing door of the tomb-like vault he had just cracked, pulled back by the rotting arms of ravenous reanimated corpses.
As it stands, Dieter is trapped in the scientific concept of Schrödinger’s cat: Until we look in the box to see if he’s alive or dead, he exists in both states at the same time. “He’s one of the living dead,” says Schweighöfer. Just, in a more theoretical sense, not necessarily the nibble type.
The only reason Netflix has a spinoff movie in which Dieter and his team embark on a security craze across Europe is because Schweighöfer was so charming in the original role. They wanted more of him. Army of the dead was the actor-filmmaker’s introduction to many viewers in the United States, but the 40-year-old has been a major star in his native Germany for years. Were talking Hasselhoff fat.
This is how he caught the attention of Snyder and his producer / wife Deborah Snyder, who chose him for Dead as the weakest member, but arguably the most critical of the team Dave Bautista leads to zombie-overrun Las Vegas to extract a billionaire’s fortune from the ruins of a casino. Muscle makes its way to the basement safe, then Dieter’s delicate skills kick in as he turns the dials.
Dieter also steals all of his scenes, in part because he’s one of the few who isn’t traffic-bottled and fearful all the time. “All characters have to whisper” to avoid attracting the attention of the living dead, he notes, “But when I read that, I knew,” Okay, except Dieter. It could be very loud because everyone has to protect it. ‘”
In his introductory scene in that previous film, Bautista and his right-wing mercenary (Ana De La Reguera) find Dieter living undercover as a fugitive, working in a small security firm. He lights up when they present him with blueprints for the famous vault they hope to open, known as “Götterdämmerung” from the fourth and final opera in composer Richard Wagner’s epic cycle of musical dramas Ring. Dieter enthusiastically explains that he is on the run precisely because he has already cracked the other three safes that were built with these operas as inspiration.
Where he would have explained it, but the scene was cut from the film. And it was cut because Snyder was so captivated by Schweighöfer’s performance of that backstory that he decided they should make it his own movie.
They started to work on Thieves long before Dead was even over, that’s how Dieter got a fresh start even as they plotted his apparent demise.
Dieter’s first scene in the final version of Army of the dead only lasts about two minutes, but it started off as an epic among the introductions. “The first cut in this scene was 14 minutes,” says Schweighöfer. “I improvised, it was funny and everyone laughed. I told the whole story of Richard Wagner and the operas, and little things in between, like, I looked at Dave and I asked him, “Are you an opera fan? And he just looked at me. I said, you know, ‘Obviously not.’ I told the whole backstory, and then Zack made this decision, ‘Okay, he just introduced us to the spin-off.’ “
The prequel involved Dieter’s life as a person, living under his original name, Sebastian, and making YouTube security videos that get few likes and subscriptions. One of his fans is Gwendoline (Fast and furious actress Nathalie Emmanuel,) the leader of a burgeoning criminal ring that plans to rob the series of famous safes inspired by Wagner’s operas. The rest of the crew includes hacker Korina (Ruby O. Fresh, Schweighöfer’s real girlfriend), getaway driver Rolph (Guz Khan) and hired the Brad muscle (Stuart martin.)
This film would be pure adventure comedy, with the team galavanting through the luxury postcard locations of Europe as they orchestrate plans to infiltrate their hardened targets and bring Dieter / Sebastian up close and personal. with legendary chests. In the background, on TV screens, and in a notable dream sequence, there are lightning bolts of the coming zombie apocalypse.
This is where Schweighöfer paid tribute to Snyder for opening the door to him with his first English-language film. A dream in which a zombified little girl staggers in Dieter’s hallway is a tribute to the opening zombie of Snyder’s 2004 remake Dawn of the Dead, in which a couple’s daughter attacks them in their bedroom.