Warner, Snyders enlist in new ‘Army’

Director, studio reteam on zombie film

As “300” continues its march through the worldwide box office, director Zack Snyder is mustering another sort of army.

Snyder and Warner Bros. are reteaming on zombie action-thriller “Army of the Dead,” based on an original story by Snyder. He’s producing with wife Deborah Snyder through their recently launched shingle, Cruel & Unusual Films, based at Warners.

It’s too early to say whether Zack Snyder is considering “Army” as a directing vehicle for himself. He will next direct “Watchmen” for Warner, based on the Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons graphic novel about a group of retired superheroes who reunite to save the world from disaster. He’s set to begin lensing at the end of the summer, with the studio eyeing a 2008 release.

Snyder and Warner have set Joby Harold, who penned the upcoming “Awake” for the Weinstein Co., to pen the script for “Army.” Cruel’s Wesley Coller is exec producing.

Set in a quarantined Las Vegas in the not-too-distant future, “Army” revolves around a father who tries to save his daughter from imminent death in a zombie-infested world. (Snyder got his first taste of zombies directing the remake of “Dawn of the Dead” for Universal.)

Snyder, who has been on a press tour promoting the opening of “300” domestically and overseas, told Daily Variety that he wants “Army” to have a sweeping, epic quality, along the lines of the highly stylized “300.”

“I feel like there hasn’t been a zombie movie on the scale that we want to do it,” Snyder said from the Bahamas, where he is shooting a commercial.

He said it’s too early to say how “Army” will be shot — “300” was filmed entirely in front of a green screen — but that the project is likely to borrow some of the same techniques.

Cruel & Unusual also is developing action-fantasy “Sucker Punch,” which Snyder is co-writing with Steve Shibuya from an original story by Snyder.

Zack and Deborah Snyder are repped by CAA. Harold also is repped by CAA.

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