Snyder’s Army of the Dead Universe is the opposite of the MCU

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Zack Snyder is building a new shared universe on Netflix starting with Army of the dead and Army of thieves, and so far it’s the opposite of the MCU. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is considered by many to be the gold standard for shared universes, and many other franchises have tried to emulate the structure, which goes to show that Snyder is doing something completely different on Netflix.

The MCU started with Nick Fury telling Tony Stark about the Avengers initiative at the end of Iron Man, then introduced more characters via solo movies before having them outfitted in The Avengers, culminating in the union of dozens of superheroes against Thanos in Avengers: Endgame. The consistency of tone and style quickly revealed a “Marvel formula” that has been used with great success, earning scores from Fresh Rotten Tomatoes for the franchise’s first 25 films and earning the MCU the title of the most lucrative franchise. Of the history.

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On the surface, Army of the dead didn’t seem like a typical launch pad for a shared universe, but with the release of a prequel movie, an incoming prequel animated series, and a sequel, Planet of the dead, the potential of the franchise has become clearer, but the approach to building the universe is very different from that of the MCU.

Zack Snyder first directed the team-up movie with Army of the Dead

Zack Snyder's Army of the Dead

While Marvel initially focused on creating characters in solo films, Army of the dead jumped straight into an ensemble movie. Army of the dead works despite not having solo movies, but then Army of thieves provided additional backstory for Dieter, both functioning like his original film, but also changing the way we see his role in Army of the dead.

Dieter’s character didn’t suffer at all from not having a solo movie before his introduction in Army of the dead, and was still one of the film’s most notable characters. At the same time knowing that Dieter survives Army of thieves because he showed up in Army of the dead came first don’t spoil the suspense Army of thieves because the stakes were all personal and linked to characters who did not appear in the Army of the dead. Despite their stand-alone nature, these are also very complementary films, with Dieter’s long history making it even more interesting when he watches again. Army of the dead, which is probably why the movie returned to Netflix’s Best Trending list after Army of thieves has been freed.

The Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas The animated series will provide additional backstory for more characters, defining where the franchise will go Planet of the dead, and possibly beyond. The MCU may have set the standard for starting small and building the universe from there, the Army of the dead the universe proves that you can start big and fill in the smaller parts later and it still works.

Army of the dead and army of thieves are really different genres

The actors of Army of Thieves look behind them.

The MCU plays with the genre a lot, taking elements of a spy thriller for Captain America: The Winter Soldier or take a look at a coming-of-age movie by John Hughes featuring Spider-Man: Homecoming, or space operas with guardians of the galaxy, although at its core, movies tend to be different forms of action comedy movies that simply borrow tropes and aesthetics from other genres. The approach is successful and gives the universe a great playing field to explore elements of the genre, and there’s nothing wrong with a franchise sticking to a core genre – in fact. , that’s the norm for most franchises – but ultimately none of the movies come out of that kind of basic action comedy entirely.

Related: Army Of Thieves Is The Exact Opposite Of A Zombie Movie

Meanwhile, Snyder Army of the dead films have landed in clearly different genres, both in structure and tone, to the point that they may even have different target audiences. Army of the dead is really a zombie movie to begin with, but it borrows a lot from heist movies and adds some sci-fi elements, while Army of thieves is a pure junkyard film that looks at romantic comedy. The movies share both a heist and zombie component, but those aspects are always presented through the lens of their respective genres. The drama surrounding the heist and Dieter’s safety in Army of the dead is driven by zombies, while the zombies in Army of thieves are just a global background distraction.

With this approach, films still share tonal connections but ultimately do not occupy the same genre spaces. Army of Thieves is also a much funnier movie than Army of the dead, and some of the comedy wouldn’t be out of place in the sequel, as would some of the creepiest or most violent elements of Army of the dead wouldn’t feel out of place in Army of thieves. Conversely, none of the MCU movies are so drastically different that a scene from any MCU movie wouldn’t look out of place in any of the franchise’s other entries.

One of the most important things Snyder talks about with his franchise is the “genre-busting” approach that really embraces the genre in question and looks at tropes without breaking them to the point of parody, saying they like “have fun without making fun.” To fully deliver these genre experiences, every movie has to truly be a part of the genre it is a part of to bend, but not break, the tropes and styles audiences expect.

Army of the Dead and Army of Thieves work great as stand-alone stories

Army of the dead prequel army of thieves

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is working to keep audiences focused on what’s to come. The movies are full of Easter eggs, character teases, stories for future films, and of course, post-credits scenes. Whether someone likes or hates a Marvel movie, he often walks away saying that it made them excited for what’s to come, which is one of the biggest factors in the MCU’s success.

On another side, Army of the dead ended with a classic horror flick that teased the survival of a threat, though that could also be seen as a sequel setup (which it does, with Planet of the dead on the way), but outside of the sequel, there’s no setup or blatant tease for other spin-offs like many modern franchise movies typically are. It is the same for Army of thieves, Which leads to Army of the dead, but does not take other detours to set up future films. The two films operate completely independently.

Related: End Of The Thieves Army, Dieter’s True Story & Prophecies Explained

While the Marvel movies use post-credits scenes to focus on what happens next, the two Army of the dead and Army of thieves have the audience dig into the film itself for story clues and ideas for where things might go, leading to theories like the time loop theory. Upon further investigation, both films contain plenty of references to connect with each other, and they certainly have plenty of spin-off storytelling opportunities, but neither of those teases or clues distracts the attention of the film at your fingertips.

The cool part is that both of these strategies work. It would be difficult for anyone to argue that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has not enjoyed both critical and commercial success throughout its duration, but Army of the dead and Army of thieves have also enjoyed success, debuting at No. 1 on Netflix globally, and Army of the dead become one of the movies watched on Netflix before the release of Army of thieves. Prove that the alternative shared universe model works, Army of the dead also returned to the Top Ten Trending Movies section after the release of Army of thieves, demonstrating the residual benefit of connecting the shared universe.

The explosion of the shared universe model has seen massive success for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and varying degrees of success and failure for a number of other franchises that have tried to emulate the Marvel formula, but success of Army of the dead and Army of thieves shows that there is more than one way to build a universe. As Zack Snyder’s first Netflix universe expands with Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas and Planet of the dead, Hopefully, we’ll continue to see new approaches to genre film making and universe building.

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