Released in 2021, Army of the Dead was a huge success for Netflix, scoring 72 million account views within its first four weeks on the streaming platform. The team behind the film was so confident in its success, in fact, that a prequel (called Army of Thieves) had already wrapped filming prior to Army of the Dead‘s release, as reported by Slash Film in December 2020.
Army of the Dead was notable for subverting the zombie film trope, taking it in a new direction. One of the biggest strengths of the film — other than Zack Snyder’s direction — was the talented cast, with Dave Bautista leading the ensemble. As we await news of Snyder’s threequel film, which will be called Planet of the Dead, here’s a look at eight interesting facts about the Army of the Dead cast that you might not have known.
8 Dave Bautista is a High School Dropout
Dave Bautista plays Scott Ward and is the central character to the plot of Army of the Dead. He delivers a great performance, and he has enjoyed a hugely successful career since he made his debut in Hollywood after a lucrative career with WWE. He never actually finished high school, and states that this is one of his biggest regrets. His grades got so bad in his senior year that he was forced to drop out, however, this has not impacted him negatively in his success.
7 Ella Purnell Was a Successful Child Actor
Ella Purnell plays Kate Ward in Army of the Dead, Scott’s estranged daughter. Purnell is in the earlier stages of her career, but has already enjoyed huge levels of success. She has been a successful actor since childhood, originally gaining a role in Oliver! on London’s West End before going on to star in Never Let Me Go as the younger version of Keira Knightley’s character, and eventually securing a role in Kick-Ass 2 as Dolce. Purnell’s career has continued to blossom since, and the skills she learned are obvious in her acting performances today.
6 Ana de la Reguera Ran with the Olympic Torch
Ana de la Reguera stars as Maria Cruz in Army of the Dead. She is a successful actress with lots of Spanish-language roles under her belt, which have been huge successes. In 2012, she was even selected by her home country of Mexico to carry the Olympic Torch at the games in London.
5 Theo Rossi Grew Up Riding Dirt Bikes
Theo Rossi stars as Burt Cummings in Army of the Dead, and he performs excellently, which is not surprising given the number of successful roles he has already played. He portrayed Juan Carlo Ortiz in the hugely successful Sons of Anarchy, and starred in films such as Lowriders and Vault. Before he found success as an actor, he grew up in New York and stated that one of his favorite things to do was to ride dirt bikes.
4 Hiroyuki Sanada’s First U.S. Hit Was with Tom Cruise
Hiroyuki Sanada plays Bly Tanka in Army of the Dead, and fans were very excited to see what he would bring to the role as he already has a hugely successful career. He achieved acclaim in his home country of Japan as a martial arts expert and actor, appearing in countless titles across several years. His first hit in the U.S. was The Last Samurai alongside Tom Cruise, which became a huge success and enhanced his career on a global scale.
3 Tig Notaro Replaced Chris D’Elia
Tig Notaro replaced Chris D’Elia in the movie after several sexual harassment allegations against him came to light. Netflix quickly replaced him and Notaro joined as Marianne, which was an excellent choice.
2 Omari Hardwick’s Career Started in Sports
Omari Hardwick stars as Vanderohe, and he has enjoyed a very successful career in acting. He is excellent in Army of the Dead, holding his own against the other actors and commanding the screen when he is on it. Before he found success in acting, he had a very a career in sports, pursuing football in the hopes of joining the San Diego Chargers.
1 Dave Bautista Used to Work as a Nightclub Bouncer
Dave Bautista now enjoys a hugely successful career, however, before he found success in this role, he worked as a nightclub bouncer to pay his bills. He was fired after a fight that left the patrons seriously injured and was sentenced to one year’s probation.