Army of the Dead director Zack Snyder reveals it cost 'a few million' dollars to add Tig Notaro

7 mins read


Director Zack Snyder returned with the Netflix zombie heist thriller Army of the Dead this past weekend, with the filmmaker opening up about the decision to replace Chris D’Elia with Tig Notaro.

D’Elia was originally cast as a helicopter pilot who helps a ragtag crew pull off a Las Vegas heist amid a zombie invasion, though he was yanked from the film after numerous sexual misconduct allegations surfaced.

The 55-year-old director opened up in a new interview with Vanity Fair, where he revealed it cost, ‘a few million’ dollars to replace D’Elia with Notaro, but added it was a ‘fairly easy decision’ to do so.

Decision: Director Zack Snyder returned with the Netflix zombie heist thriller Army of the Dead this past weekend, with the filmmaker opening up about the decision to replace Chris D'Elia with Tig Notaro

Decision: Director Zack Snyder returned with the Netflix zombie heist thriller Army of the Dead this past weekend, with the filmmaker opening up about the decision to replace Chris D’Elia with Tig Notaro

Filming got under way in July 2019 with shooting taking place on location in Los Angeles and in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

A number of allegations against D’Elia surfaced in June 2020, with some women claiming the comedian pursued them while they were teenagers.

It was announced in August 2020 that Notaro would be replacing D’Elia, and when asked if it was a difficult decision to make, Snyder said, ‘I think it was a fairly easy one.’

Easy decision: It was announced in August 2020 that Notaro would be replacing D'Elia, and when asked if it was a difficult decision to make, Snyder said, 'I think it was a fairly easy one'

Easy decision: It was announced in August 2020 that Notaro would be replacing D’Elia, and when asked if it was a difficult decision to make, Snyder said, ‘I think it was a fairly easy one’

The filmmaker’s wife and longtime producing partner, Deborah Snyder, added, ‘I was an expensive one, that’s for sure.’

While neither Snyder would reveal a specific amount that it cost to replace D’Elia with Notaro, Zack said it was probably, ‘a few million,’ though Deborah thought it might be a bit more than that.

‘It was like the cost of our little German movie,’ Deborah said, referring to their upcoming Army of Thieves, a romantic comedy prequel to Army of the Dead that Netflix will also release, along with an animated series set in the same universe. 

Cost: While neither Snyder would reveal a specific amount that it cost to replace D'Elia with Notaro, Zack said it was probably, 'a few million,' though Deborah thought it might be a bit more than that

Cost: While neither Snyder would reveal a specific amount that it cost to replace D’Elia with Notaro, Zack said it was probably, ‘a few million,’ though Deborah thought it might be a bit more than that

Deborah added, ‘I will say, Netflix did the right thing. They put their money where their mouth is.’

She added that, since principal photography had already wrapped, it was impossible to re-assemble the cast to shoot new scenes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘What a weird shoot,’ Deborah said of the September shoot, one of the first things Netflix had shot during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Weird shoot: 'What a weird shoot,' Deborah said of the September shoot, one of the first things Netflix had shot during the COVID-19 pandemic

Weird shoot: ‘What a weird shoot,’ Deborah said of the September shoot, one of the first things Netflix had shot during the COVID-19 pandemic

‘Netflix had only shot one day for a reshoot on Prom. Then we were the next thing that they had during COVID,’ she said.

Zach added, ‘We were really figuring it out,’ with the shoot complicated further since Notaro, 50, is a cancer survivor, which put her at a heightened risk for complications if she were to contract COVID-19.

This meant that Notaro essentially had to shoot these scenes by herself, which complicated scenes where her character was with the whole group, which included Dave Bautista.

Figuring it out: Zach added, 'We were really figuring it out,' with the shoot complicated further since Notaro, 50, is a cancer survivor, which put her at a heightened risk for complications if she were to contract COVID-19

Figuring it out: Zach added, ‘We were really figuring it out,’ with the shoot complicated further since Notaro, 50, is a cancer survivor, which put her at a heightened risk for complications if she were to contract COVID-19

‘That shot that we did where Tig and Dave are walking and talking in the loading dock, we were pretty sure that we were just gonna have to cut that scene,’ Zack said.

‘When we first talked about it, I was like, “This is gonna be really hard because they’re all backlit and haloed and there’s a lens flare.” But it came out perfectly,’ he added.

The filmmaker added that the crew he has been working with for years were already experts in integrating these kinds of shots into previously-filmed footage.

Cut: 'That shot that we did where Tig and Dave are walking and talking in the loading dock, we were pretty sure that we were just gonna have to cut that scene,' Zack said

Cut: ‘That shot that we did where Tig and Dave are walking and talking in the loading dock, we were pretty sure that we were just gonna have to cut that scene,’ Zack said

‘It just so happens that the group makes giant visual-effects movies, you know what I mean? It worked out that we were like, Oh, yeah, I know how to do this. But you know, it could have been a disaster,’ he added.

The director added that it worked out for the best because Notaro brought something completely different to that character.

‘I think the movie is better with Tig Notaro, frankly, because she’s more unexpected and she’s more fun,” Snyder said. 

‘She’s like, “Zack, clearly you knew that I had an action hero in here somewhere. I don’t know where it is, but you found it.” She’s so bone-dry, but in the best possible way,’ he added.

Worked out: The director added that it worked out for the best because Notaro brought something completely different to that character

Worked out: The director added that it worked out for the best because Notaro brought something completely different to that character

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Blog